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Thread: New member wondering if I'm wasting my time with hearing aids

  1. #1

    Default New member wondering if I'm wasting my time with hearing aids

    Hello, 55 y/o male whose ears have been ringing for the last 30 years.

    Single round fired from a .357 MGM in an Arroyo without hearing protection in 1985. Ears have rung ever since. Right ear worse than left (go figure as I shoot right handed.

    The military told me then (and several times since, there was really nothing which could be done.

    30 years later and well insured, I saw an audiologist who set me up in a $6,000 pair of hearing aids. A lot of fancy talk about trans positioning, etc. following pretty much the same hearign test I took 30 years ago (has hearing diagnosis really not changed in 30 years). A month and 3 visits into these things, I am returning them for (hopefully) a full refund.

    The bottom line is the people I perceived as mumbling previously still mumble. The people who I could understand, I still understand, but have to filter out the click, crunch, and rattle of the HAs to understand them. The people whom I perceived as too loud, I now want to throat punch. The wind noise of my old car sounds like a woman being eviscerated alive. In summary, everything new that I hear with the HAs is just annoying noise.

    Frustrated enough to find a calibrated online hearing test, you could describe my hearing loss as:
    Freq 250 500 1k 2k 4k 8k
    L 32 51 32 21 80 71
    R 32 41 31 31 80+ 80+

    Additionally, I would estimate my tinnitus tone as around 8k (using an online generator).

    I'm old enough to realize audiologists are ultimately HA salesmen, so I understand they are not going to tell me there is just no way to help. But after this experience, I am concluding (at least the pricey HAs I have), there may be no help.

    So, my question is if anyone is in the same boat, hearing wise, and has actually found an HA brand that works for symptoms similar to mine?

    Alternatively, does anyone know of a brand of HA or Personal Sound Amplification Product which allows end user programming? I'd like to be able to customize the gain levels of various frequencies myself to see if I can get any relief.

    I'd like to find an HA with (I assume) extended reproduction/amplification capabilities. From what I can tell, most work between 250Hz and 8,000Hz, with a maximum gain of 80bB. Since my right ear hearing loss at 4K and 8K is more than 80dB, I woudl guess I need something with a bit more power.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    453

    Default

    A bit of background before I start. I'm a newby to hearing aids, but have learned a lot in my short time on the forum and getting HAs for myself, but I've got a lot of years as a RN working with patients. My comments are going to rely a lot on that nursing experience and a little on what I know of hearing aids. Thoughts in no particular order:
    1) A more thorough audiogram would be useful, particularly the 3k reading. Word recognition scores also give useful info. Also knowing how much more than 80 dB your loss is Costco will do this for free.
    2) Regarding self programming, there is a wealth of info on this site regarding self programming in the DIY section. People are willing to help, but don't expect handholding.
    3) In medicine, and I this seems to apply to hearing, there are some things that are quick fixes. There's some simple, defined problem and there's a definitive fix for it. In hearing, this might be complaining of bad hearing and having the doctor find out that your ear is full of wax. Remove the wax and your back in business. Unfortunately, little in medicine (and I think even less in hearing) is like that. It boils down to how important is fixing the problem too you and how hard are you willing to work at it and how much discomfort/inconvenience are you willing to bear and finding the right balance for you. If improving your hearing is really important to you and you're willing to work at it and put up with a lot of hassles, I'm convinced your hearing can be improved. Note improved. Not returned to normal, or anywhere near it. Also, hearing aids definitely take getting used to. Your brain needs time to adjust to the bad parts and take advantage of the new information that's available to it. I think I've rambled enough.
    I think all of the major manufacturers: Oticon, Phonak, Signia to name a few make aids that could help you. Your'e unlikely to really correct the high frequencies 6hz and 8hz, but if you could get some decent amplification to 3hz and 4 hz, I suspect, you'd notice a difference in ability to understand people.
    Last edited by MDB; 12-03-2016 at 10:25 AM.
    .25 .5 1 1.5 2 3.0 4.0 6.0 8.0

    15 15 20 30 30 55 75 90 NR ​KS7
    10 10 20 15 25 35 65 85 95 WRS 100/92@45/40

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northern CA
    Posts
    3,533

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by d-dogg View Post
    Hello, 55 y/o male whose ears have been ringing for the last 30 years.

    Single round fired from a .357 MGM in an Arroyo without hearing protection in 1985. Ears have rung ever since. Right ear worse than left (go figure as I shoot right handed.

    The military told me then (and several times since, there was really nothing which could be done.

    30 years later and well insured, I saw an audiologist who set me up in a $6,000 pair of hearing aids. A lot of fancy talk about trans positioning, etc. following pretty much the same hearign test I took 30 years ago (has hearing diagnosis really not changed in 30 years). A month and 3 visits into these things, I am returning them for (hopefully) a full refund.

    The bottom line is the people I perceived as mumbling previously still mumble. The people who I could understand, I still understand, but have to filter out the click, crunch, and rattle of the HAs to understand them. The people whom I perceived as too loud, I now want to throat punch. The wind noise of my old car sounds like a woman being eviscerated alive. In summary, everything new that I hear with the HAs is just annoying noise.

    Frustrated enough to find a calibrated online hearing test, you could describe my hearing loss as:
    Freq 250 500 1k 2k 4k 8k
    L 32 51 32 21 80 71
    R 32 41 31 31 80+ 80+

    Additionally, I would estimate my tinnitus tone as around 8k (using an online generator).

    I'm old enough to realize audiologists are ultimately HA salesmen, so I understand they are not going to tell me there is just no way to help. But after this experience, I am concluding (at least the pricey HAs I have), there may be no help.

    So, my question is if anyone is in the same boat, hearing wise, and has actually found an HA brand that works for symptoms similar to mine?

    Alternatively, does anyone know of a brand of HA or Personal Sound Amplification Product which allows end user programming? I'd like to be able to customize the gain levels of various frequencies myself to see if I can get any relief.

    I'd like to find an HA with (I assume) extended reproduction/amplification capabilities. From what I can tell, most work between 250Hz and 8,000Hz, with a maximum gain of 80bB. Since my right ear hearing loss at 4K and 8K is more than 80dB, I woudl guess I need something with a bit more power.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.
    Do you have your actual audiogram that you can post?
    What HA's did your audi sell you? Perhaps a different brand will work better.
    A month is not long enough to get them adjusted to your liking, give Costco a try and you will get a much longer trial period.
    Perhaps your audi isn't the right one for you, try someone else. Don't give up!
    I have had tinnitus for as long as I can remember and until I got HA's (Oticon) I always had ringing, but when I have my HA's in, the ringing is gone, so perhaps a different brand will work for you, you won't know until you try. Once again, Don't give up!
    Oticon Agil Pro w/streamer

    -250 500 1000 1500 2000 3000 4000 6000 8000
    L 10--5----10----30---50----70----85---80---80
    R 5--10----20----35---45----85----85--100--100

    SP Disc ------------- SRT
    L 88% @55db ------- L-10
    R 90% @55db------- R-25

  4. #4

    Default

    I know, but I would visit your VSO office and get paperwork filed with the VA. Don't cost nothing but a little time.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thank you for the replies.

    I have Starkeys.

    I don't have a full audio-gram to post.

    Interested in the reply regarding the Oticon helping your tinnitus. My HAs do absolutely nothing for the ringing. Not sure what you mean about masking out. I asked about a white noise generator and was told that doesn't really work.

    I'll read up on self-programming in the DIY section.

    My word score on all the tests is absolutely perfect without HAs (which my audiologist thought odd). go figure.

    One technique I have used recently has improved my understanding of people. I ignore those who mumble, whisper, do not face me when speaking, or speak to me from another room. My 13 year old son now speaks very clearly without hearing aids.
    Last edited by d-dogg; 12-03-2016 at 04:50 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    453

    Default

    It could be useful for others to know the dB level of your word recognition scores. If it's 100% at 40dB that's quite a bit different than 100% at 80db.
    What problems are you looking to solve?
    .25 .5 1 1.5 2 3.0 4.0 6.0 8.0

    15 15 20 30 30 55 75 90 NR ​KS7
    10 10 20 15 25 35 65 85 95 WRS 100/92@45/40

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MDB View Post
    It could be useful for others to know the dB level of your word recognition scores. If it's 100% at 40dB that's quite a bit different than 100% at 80db.
    What problems are you looking to solve?
    No idea what dB level, but didn't miss a word at all. The Belltone online test (though not calibrated) suggested I have no hearing problem. Clearly I do have significant high frequency loss and ringing.

    What problems? HEARING!

    I am convinced though that people have lost the ability, or the manners to communicate clearly.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by d-dogg View Post
    No idea what dB level, but didn't miss a word at all. The Belltone online test (though not calibrated) suggested I have no hearing problem. Clearly I do have significant high frequency loss and ringing.

    What problems? HEARING!

    I am convinced though that people have lost the ability, or the manners to communicate clearly.
    Now I'm confused. In your first post (in this thread) the results you listed from the online test -- if substantiated clinically! -- would seem to suggest that you really do have some serious hearing loss. I replied to your other post in a little more detail, but I think you really do need some proper testing to find out exactly what it is you need.
    250 500 1K 1.5K 2K 3K 4K 6K 8K Costco KS7
    R 25 50 60 60 60 50 50 50 65 SRT: 55dB WRS: 84% @85dB
    L 30 60 60 60 60 55 60 60 70 SRT: 60dB WRS: 88% @90dB

  9. #9

    Default

    Go to Costco and get a real test then come back and the post results.. No use folks trying to guess when you keep changing the target.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    3,457

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by d-dogg View Post
    Hello, 55 y/o male whose ears have been ringing for the last 30 years.

    Single round fired from a .357 MGM in an Arroyo without hearing protection in 1985. Ears have rung ever since. Right ear worse than left (go figure as I shoot right handed.

    The military told me then (and several times since, there was really nothing which could be done.

    30 years later and well insured, I saw an audiologist who set me up in a $6,000 pair of hearing aids. A lot of fancy talk about trans positioning, etc. following pretty much the same hearign test I took 30 years ago (has hearing diagnosis really not changed in 30 years). A month and 3 visits into these things, I am returning them for (hopefully) a full refund.

    The bottom line is the people I perceived as mumbling previously still mumble. The people who I could understand, I still understand, but have to filter out the click, crunch, and rattle of the HAs to understand them. The people whom I perceived as too loud, I now want to throat punch. The wind noise of my old car sounds like a woman being eviscerated alive. In summary, everything new that I hear with the HAs is just annoying noise.

    Frustrated enough to find a calibrated online hearing test, you could describe my hearing loss as:
    Freq 250 500 1k 2k 4k 8k
    L 32 51 32 21 80 71
    R 32 41 31 31 80+ 80+


    Additionally, I would estimate my tinnitus tone as around 8k (using an online generator).

    I'm old enough to realize audiologists are ultimately HA salesmen, so I understand they are not going to tell me there is just no way to help. But after this experience, I am concluding (at least the pricey HAs I have), there may be no help.

    So, my question is if anyone is in the same boat, hearing wise, and has actually found an HA brand that works for symptoms similar to mine?

    Alternatively, does anyone know of a brand of HA or Personal Sound Amplification Product which allows end user programming? I'd like to be able to customize the gain levels of various frequencies myself to see if I can get any relief.

    I'd like to find an HA with (I assume) extended reproduction/amplification capabilities. From what I can tell, most work between 250Hz and 8,000Hz, with a maximum gain of 80bB. Since my right ear hearing loss at 4K and 8K is more than 80dB, I woudl guess I need something with a bit more power.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.
    Classic noise damage loss: the steepness between 2 and 4kHz is the indication of the non-organic nature. The problem is that there's both some elements of denial and bargaining in the subsequent answers.

    If you genuinely want get it sorted, have a look at the recent stuff on here about dealing with precipitous/ski-slope losses and the trade-offs you make with open and occluded fits.
    'He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.'
    Link to my entry in the Hidden Content section.
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