Ear or Hearing Aid?

Posted by neil10 @neil10, May 8 5:41am

My two Costco KS 8.0s worked fine until a couple of months ago when I started to have problems with one. The introductory chimes in one HA faded progressively over several weeks to the point where it was almost impossible to hear. I assume that this was an accurate measure of overall HA performance on this side. Mysteriously the chime noise level, and hence my hearing on this side, has now started to rebound and is virtually back to normal. In theory this strange behaviour could be due either to the behaviour of my ear or the HA.

Sadly I am currently hundreds of miles from the nearest Costco HA centre. Does anyone have a possible explanation for this strange behaviour?

@neil10
I have been wearing hearing aids for 45 years and my educated guess is that it is not the aid but your ear. I see my ENT for an ear checkup and clean out about every 3 or 4 months. My hearing is bilateral profound.

Hearing fluctuates a lot. You could have had a piece of wax across the eardrum that naturally migrated out of your ear. In my case, I have very dry ears and just went through a couple of days of diminishing sound in my right good ear to the point I could hardly hear the start up tone or the tones for the different programs. My ENT had suggested long ago to put mineral drops in my ear canals on a regular, if not daily basis. Mineral oil does not build up and is essentially a moisturizer.

So when this happened I put drops in the canals at night and the next day my hearing was back to near normal. Did it again that night and Bingo, the next day my hearing was back to normal.

My loss is so bad that any little obstruction like ear wax is immediately noticeable.

Don’t go back to Costco just yet. If you haven’t had an ear checkup recently I suggest you see an ENT for what I call a dusting and a cleaning. My ENT happens to wear hearing aids and is board certified with many awards so I am confident about using the mineral oil.

Any drugstore carries this oil and you can get a pack of droppers also.

In addition, check your aids if you have tubing like I do. Tubing accumulates moisture and can get clogged. Consider using a Dry and Store at night to keep your aids free from moisture which is a killer of those tiny parts in the aids. And I know you don’t put Qtips in your ears right? You could push any debris further into the ear canal and make things worse.

Let me know what you think about all this info I just imparted

FL Mary

REPLY
@imallears

@neil10
I have been wearing hearing aids for 45 years and my educated guess is that it is not the aid but your ear. I see my ENT for an ear checkup and clean out about every 3 or 4 months. My hearing is bilateral profound.

Hearing fluctuates a lot. You could have had a piece of wax across the eardrum that naturally migrated out of your ear. In my case, I have very dry ears and just went through a couple of days of diminishing sound in my right good ear to the point I could hardly hear the start up tone or the tones for the different programs. My ENT had suggested long ago to put mineral drops in my ear canals on a regular, if not daily basis. Mineral oil does not build up and is essentially a moisturizer.

So when this happened I put drops in the canals at night and the next day my hearing was back to near normal. Did it again that night and Bingo, the next day my hearing was back to normal.

My loss is so bad that any little obstruction like ear wax is immediately noticeable.

Don’t go back to Costco just yet. If you haven’t had an ear checkup recently I suggest you see an ENT for what I call a dusting and a cleaning. My ENT happens to wear hearing aids and is board certified with many awards so I am confident about using the mineral oil.

Any drugstore carries this oil and you can get a pack of droppers also.

In addition, check your aids if you have tubing like I do. Tubing accumulates moisture and can get clogged. Consider using a Dry and Store at night to keep your aids free from moisture which is a killer of those tiny parts in the aids. And I know you don’t put Qtips in your ears right? You could push any debris further into the ear canal and make things worse.

Let me know what you think about all this info I just imparted

FL Mary

Jump to this post

Hello, Mary. I'm learning so much from you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

I have extremely dry ears also. The ENT says this is the cause of my 'plugged up' feeling in the right ear. It feels like it's stopped up most of the time, with fluid behind the ear, itches and is quite bothersome as well as I can't hear! Sometimes I have earaches, for several days or overnight. Don't know why….. have tinnitus which naturally is worse at times, crickets or rushing sounds. Tinnitus is in both ears, but always in the right ear. Today it's worse.

The doctor told me to use hydrocortisone cream in both ears every couple days. It feels wonderful! Apparently, the extreme dryness causes the fullness, feeling like fluid is behind the drum. Stops the itching, removes any wax which I never used to have but do some now. It may reduce swelling, since it's anti-inflammatory. I'm not totally clear on what's happening, but makes sense the swelling would affect hearing???

I see the hearing aid person in 2 weeks, at Mayo Jax. I decided to stay there for help, at least for now. I know this can be a precise process, so I'm working with them. I trust them to give me the true skinny.

Also, getting an amplified phone, etc. Julie was telling me about telecoils and loops….so much to learn I really don't want to know! But, need to hear, eh? So, we do this and enjoy the next parts of living! Thankful!
Blessings to you.
Elizabeth

REPLY
@ess77

Hello, Mary. I'm learning so much from you. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

I have extremely dry ears also. The ENT says this is the cause of my 'plugged up' feeling in the right ear. It feels like it's stopped up most of the time, with fluid behind the ear, itches and is quite bothersome as well as I can't hear! Sometimes I have earaches, for several days or overnight. Don't know why….. have tinnitus which naturally is worse at times, crickets or rushing sounds. Tinnitus is in both ears, but always in the right ear. Today it's worse.

The doctor told me to use hydrocortisone cream in both ears every couple days. It feels wonderful! Apparently, the extreme dryness causes the fullness, feeling like fluid is behind the drum. Stops the itching, removes any wax which I never used to have but do some now. It may reduce swelling, since it's anti-inflammatory. I'm not totally clear on what's happening, but makes sense the swelling would affect hearing???

I see the hearing aid person in 2 weeks, at Mayo Jax. I decided to stay there for help, at least for now. I know this can be a precise process, so I'm working with them. I trust them to give me the true skinny.

Also, getting an amplified phone, etc. Julie was telling me about telecoils and loops….so much to learn I really don't want to know! But, need to hear, eh? So, we do this and enjoy the next parts of living! Thankful!
Blessings to you.
Elizabeth

Jump to this post

.. I have the same Elizabeth… but no one suggested cortisone cream…can you buy it over the counter or is it prescription. Me too, my ears are dry and never get any wax out of them – opposite of my husband – and I had wondered in the past if they needed "oiling" !!

REPLY
@lacy2

.. I have the same Elizabeth… but no one suggested cortisone cream…can you buy it over the counter or is it prescription. Me too, my ears are dry and never get any wax out of them – opposite of my husband – and I had wondered in the past if they needed "oiling" !!

Jump to this post

Yes, this is over the counter cream. Often used for itching, bites or such. It does have a bit of steroid that is anti-inflammatory which I need as I have several inflammatory illnesses. The doctor told me to stop using other things I thought good to fight the dryness, or to kill bacteria. I don't use anything other than hydrocortisone cream now, and it is on the tip of a Q-tip, which he showed me how to safely use.

I don't know it if is a good thing to use unless recommended by your doctor, tho. I'm hesitant to put anything into my ears at all, but did clean them and use my facial cream or other cream on the outer ear only. None of it worked as apparently this psoriasis or extreme dry skin is just that, very severe. You might want to ck with your doctor before using this in your ears, as it might not be appropriate for your issues.

Hope you're doing well, Lacy. I know you have a lot of issues you deal with regularly, and we've discussed some of the ways I've found improvement and help using cognitive behavior changes and central sensitization concepts, meditation, breathing, focusing on gratitude and thankfulness and positive parts of our lives, using our thinking as an important part of our overall improvement. It's helping me so much. I hope you've found some benefit as well and done your own research online into these concepts. It's worth every bit of effort and time for sure!

Blessings, elizabeth

REPLY
@ess77

Yes, this is over the counter cream. Often used for itching, bites or such. It does have a bit of steroid that is anti-inflammatory which I need as I have several inflammatory illnesses. The doctor told me to stop using other things I thought good to fight the dryness, or to kill bacteria. I don't use anything other than hydrocortisone cream now, and it is on the tip of a Q-tip, which he showed me how to safely use.

I don't know it if is a good thing to use unless recommended by your doctor, tho. I'm hesitant to put anything into my ears at all, but did clean them and use my facial cream or other cream on the outer ear only. None of it worked as apparently this psoriasis or extreme dry skin is just that, very severe. You might want to ck with your doctor before using this in your ears, as it might not be appropriate for your issues.

Hope you're doing well, Lacy. I know you have a lot of issues you deal with regularly, and we've discussed some of the ways I've found improvement and help using cognitive behavior changes and central sensitization concepts, meditation, breathing, focusing on gratitude and thankfulness and positive parts of our lives, using our thinking as an important part of our overall improvement. It's helping me so much. I hope you've found some benefit as well and done your own research online into these concepts. It's worth every bit of effort and time for sure!

Blessings, elizabeth

Jump to this post

Also, Lacy, the doctor or his assistant will clean my ears every few months and ck them to be sure there isn't any wax causing hearing issues. I've never had wax buildup, ever, until recently when each time I go to the doctor re my hearing he sees was, especially in the right ear which is the one with the worst tinnitus and other complaints. So, I'm letting them handle the cleaning out of was and general maintenance. I'm only using the cream as he showed me and getting hearing assistance.
Hope this helps some. elizabeth

REPLY

@imallears, @julie07 I spoke with my sweet cousin who's been quite deaf for most of her life. She wears hearing aids, has worn Phonak for years with good results. She just got a pair of VividHear and is thrilled. She says there's no background noise, clarity is excellent, and she's quite pleased.

What's the scoop on others, like Audicious and others? Do I need to stay with the tried and true that I'll see at the Mayo hearing assistance appointment? She says the tv is wonderful now and she keeps it quite low and hears well.

I see this may well be quite confusing if I'm not careful, overwhelming and not at all easy to compare various aids. I need some guidance here, please! Thanks so much. And, bless you for all your help. elizabeth

REPLY
@ess77

@imallears, @julie07 I spoke with my sweet cousin who's been quite deaf for most of her life. She wears hearing aids, has worn Phonak for years with good results. She just got a pair of VividHear and is thrilled. She says there's no background noise, clarity is excellent, and she's quite pleased.

What's the scoop on others, like Audicious and others? Do I need to stay with the tried and true that I'll see at the Mayo hearing assistance appointment? She says the tv is wonderful now and she keeps it quite low and hears well.

I see this may well be quite confusing if I'm not careful, overwhelming and not at all easy to compare various aids. I need some guidance here, please! Thanks so much. And, bless you for all your help. elizabeth

Jump to this post

@ess77
Hello,
The VividHear is not a hearing aid…it is an amplifier. You will see in its advertising that it purports to be “just as good as a hearing
aid”. You don’t even need a hearing test or see a Doctor to get one.
If she is turning the volume down on the tv it means
these amplifiers are loud enough for her to hear sounds. They may work for and I am sure she is delighted but I worry that the loudness may be too loud over time and damage her hearing more in the long term. Also please don’t buy hearing aids online.

Although audiologists try to pick a brand hearing aid that they think will work for you they are prejudiced in their choice of hearing aid brands and have their favorites. You do not have to stick with Phonaks. You can trial as many brands as you like. Do a little research first and let them know of particular brands you are interested in maybe just one or two other brands you have read about. If you get pushback from the Audi….find another one.

You need to be in the drivers seat when it comes to your hearing. But you also need to do some research on your hearing issues and tell her what you need and want. Even when you pick a brand you like they are initially programmed according to your audio gram. After that comes the process of adjusting that program to your hearing needs. Two people with identical audio grams will always have different needs and adjustments.

As for technology, again, read up on what’s available. I had the luxury of learning about new things like assisted listening devices and loops as they emerged over the years. You are getting all this knowledge thrown at you all at once.

Keep doing what the Doctor is suggesting as it’s working for you.
I have used it on occasion for an itchy outer ear but found it too drying. I also usually put a little of my night cream on my outer ears and don’t use the mineral oil every night…just a few nights a week. I found that to be a big relief from itchy ears and rarely have that problem now. But always check with the ENT beforehand.

Getting your ears checked regularly is a good idea.

One thing about hearing loss is that, even when we know better, we are always hoping for a miracle device or technology. So when we hear claims being made or someone we know is having great success with something, we want in on that. Only human nature.
You may reach a point where all the bells and whistles of a new state of the art hearing aid will not benefit you anymore. You can only do so much with what you have.

Your best bet is to learn as much as you can about the anatomy of the ear, why things happen, what causes your particular problem
(yes swollen ears due to sinus problems or inflammation will distort your normal hearing) , engaging in blogs like the Mayo and asking questions like you do.

FL Mary

REPLY
@imallears

@neil10
I have been wearing hearing aids for 45 years and my educated guess is that it is not the aid but your ear. I see my ENT for an ear checkup and clean out about every 3 or 4 months. My hearing is bilateral profound.

Hearing fluctuates a lot. You could have had a piece of wax across the eardrum that naturally migrated out of your ear. In my case, I have very dry ears and just went through a couple of days of diminishing sound in my right good ear to the point I could hardly hear the start up tone or the tones for the different programs. My ENT had suggested long ago to put mineral drops in my ear canals on a regular, if not daily basis. Mineral oil does not build up and is essentially a moisturizer.

So when this happened I put drops in the canals at night and the next day my hearing was back to near normal. Did it again that night and Bingo, the next day my hearing was back to normal.

My loss is so bad that any little obstruction like ear wax is immediately noticeable.

Don’t go back to Costco just yet. If you haven’t had an ear checkup recently I suggest you see an ENT for what I call a dusting and a cleaning. My ENT happens to wear hearing aids and is board certified with many awards so I am confident about using the mineral oil.

Any drugstore carries this oil and you can get a pack of droppers also.

In addition, check your aids if you have tubing like I do. Tubing accumulates moisture and can get clogged. Consider using a Dry and Store at night to keep your aids free from moisture which is a killer of those tiny parts in the aids. And I know you don’t put Qtips in your ears right? You could push any debris further into the ear canal and make things worse.

Let me know what you think about all this info I just imparted

FL Mary

Jump to this post

Mary,
I know what you are talking about. I have Costco Phonak H/As and i loved them when I got them. But then my right ear started feeling clogged up and I couldn’t hear out of that ear at all. Then, sometimes, I could hear just fine. This is the 2nd et of hearing aids that I am experiencing this trouble with. I went to my ENT Dr. and he said my ears were fine. I go to Costco, and they try to help. I’ve emailed Phonak and asked for their help. They gave me a number of suggestions to make on my phone regarding blue tooth. But the problems persisted. UGH! Yesterday morning. out of sheer frustration, I went to my box of old hearing aids and with the TV on, I tested my hearing and comprehension. Now I am back to wearing a pair that I purchased from Costco prior to blue tooth and my right ear has been fine and no clogged up feeling. I am wondering if blue tooth has anything to do with it because when I’d open and shut the batter door on H/A, I’d hear just fine for seconds or somethings minutes or sometimes hours. Now, without blue tooth on my old hearing aids, I can hear! So thankful for that.

Let me know if any of you have had this experience. By the way, my hearing loss is moderate to severe in both ears.

Rose

REPLY
@imallears

@neil10
I have been wearing hearing aids for 45 years and my educated guess is that it is not the aid but your ear. I see my ENT for an ear checkup and clean out about every 3 or 4 months. My hearing is bilateral profound.

Hearing fluctuates a lot. You could have had a piece of wax across the eardrum that naturally migrated out of your ear. In my case, I have very dry ears and just went through a couple of days of diminishing sound in my right good ear to the point I could hardly hear the start up tone or the tones for the different programs. My ENT had suggested long ago to put mineral drops in my ear canals on a regular, if not daily basis. Mineral oil does not build up and is essentially a moisturizer.

So when this happened I put drops in the canals at night and the next day my hearing was back to near normal. Did it again that night and Bingo, the next day my hearing was back to normal.

My loss is so bad that any little obstruction like ear wax is immediately noticeable.

Don’t go back to Costco just yet. If you haven’t had an ear checkup recently I suggest you see an ENT for what I call a dusting and a cleaning. My ENT happens to wear hearing aids and is board certified with many awards so I am confident about using the mineral oil.

Any drugstore carries this oil and you can get a pack of droppers also.

In addition, check your aids if you have tubing like I do. Tubing accumulates moisture and can get clogged. Consider using a Dry and Store at night to keep your aids free from moisture which is a killer of those tiny parts in the aids. And I know you don’t put Qtips in your ears right? You could push any debris further into the ear canal and make things worse.

Let me know what you think about all this info I just imparted

FL Mary

Jump to this post

@neil10
For about a year now I get a feeling like there is a bug in my ear crawling around. It can happen in both ears. I went to the doctor and had him check. No bug and no explanation. The only way I can get it to stop is to lay on my side and put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in and let it bubble away for a while. This lasts for a few weeks. Doe's this sound like a dry ear issue?

REPLY
@ess77

@imallears, @julie07 I spoke with my sweet cousin who's been quite deaf for most of her life. She wears hearing aids, has worn Phonak for years with good results. She just got a pair of VividHear and is thrilled. She says there's no background noise, clarity is excellent, and she's quite pleased.

What's the scoop on others, like Audicious and others? Do I need to stay with the tried and true that I'll see at the Mayo hearing assistance appointment? She says the tv is wonderful now and she keeps it quite low and hears well.

I see this may well be quite confusing if I'm not careful, overwhelming and not at all easy to compare various aids. I need some guidance here, please! Thanks so much. And, bless you for all your help. elizabeth

Jump to this post

These devices are being marketed as hearing aids, but are basically PSAPs; personal sound amplification products. They should NOT be calling them hearing aids. I have no experience with these, but can say that the first pair of hearing aids I had in the mid-70s were basically amplifiers. They helped a bit, but in no way did they filter noise from desired sound. There's a lot of 'deceptive' advertising for these products. Real hearing aids require special fitting. They can't be ordered by mail. Degree of hearing loss is important for appropriate fitting.

REPLY
@mazeppabob

@neil10
For about a year now I get a feeling like there is a bug in my ear crawling around. It can happen in both ears. I went to the doctor and had him check. No bug and no explanation. The only way I can get it to stop is to lay on my side and put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in and let it bubble away for a while. This lasts for a few weeks. Doe's this sound like a dry ear issue?

Jump to this post

@neil10
I assume the doctor you went to was an ENT and he ruled out infection or fungus. Did he clean out your ears or comment that your ears were dry or had a lot of wax or that you had eczema? Is he the one who suggested hydrogen peroxide?

Does anything come out of your ears after you use the hydrogen
peroxide? I don’t want to suggest anything but I will tell you that I have flushed out gently with warm water with the syringe that comes in the box with Debrox and it’s helps with itchiness and hopefully flushes out some residual dried wax. I don’t do this too often and only when my hearing is severely compromised by the dryness as wax is a natural protector of the ears. And I use mineral oil on a semi regular basis. My itchiness is mostly gone. I have never had the sensation of a bug crawling around and thank goodness you don’t didn’t have one….happens but I think it is rare.

FL Mary

REPLY
@rosemh

Mary,
I know what you are talking about. I have Costco Phonak H/As and i loved them when I got them. But then my right ear started feeling clogged up and I couldn’t hear out of that ear at all. Then, sometimes, I could hear just fine. This is the 2nd et of hearing aids that I am experiencing this trouble with. I went to my ENT Dr. and he said my ears were fine. I go to Costco, and they try to help. I’ve emailed Phonak and asked for their help. They gave me a number of suggestions to make on my phone regarding blue tooth. But the problems persisted. UGH! Yesterday morning. out of sheer frustration, I went to my box of old hearing aids and with the TV on, I tested my hearing and comprehension. Now I am back to wearing a pair that I purchased from Costco prior to blue tooth and my right ear has been fine and no clogged up feeling. I am wondering if blue tooth has anything to do with it because when I’d open and shut the batter door on H/A, I’d hear just fine for seconds or somethings minutes or sometimes hours. Now, without blue tooth on my old hearing aids, I can hear! So thankful for that.

Let me know if any of you have had this experience. By the way, my hearing loss is moderate to severe in both ears.

Rose

Jump to this post

@rosemh

My aids do not have Bluetooth…I am waiting for the Phonak Paradise from my Audi which will be my first time with a Bluetooth aid.

I would like to know if the problematic hearing aids are BTEs (behind the ear). Do they have tubing connected to a custom mold or dome?
Tubing is notorious for getting moisture and getting clogged up with wax which might explain intermittent hearing problems. I re tube my own on a regular basis. Tubing can dry out and even crack if it’s too old. The mold or dome can accumulate wax and debris. These instruments have to be kept super clean and dry preferably in a dry and store container at night. I take my tubing off the ear, separate my mold and wash them once in a while …I like to make sure air and water is flowing through them. I also have a bulb like blower that you can use to send some air through the tubes. Disconnect the tube from the hook so you are not blowing moisture back into the aid. Don’t push too hard on the mold or dome…it does not need to be jammed into the ear. I am assuming your audiologist told you about how to care for aids.

If this is the type of aid you have, take a close look under a magnifying glass. Hopefully someone else may have a suggestion about any physical problems with the Bluetooth. Other than the clogged ear does the Bluetooth work for you? Seems a shame you have to go back to older aids but happy that they at least work for you. Maybe it’s a connectivity issue but I am unfamiliar with the Bluetooth workings for hearing aids. But I am going to find out soon!

FL Mary

REPLY
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