Hearing aids amplify everything

Posted by sheilahoff @sheilahoff, Apr 10 5:54pm

I'm the partner of a hearing impaired person. He's worn aids since 2001 and replaced them about every 5 years. His provider assures him they're setup and working correctly. By nature aids seem to be designed to amplify all sounds equally. I'm interested in learning if there are newer aids that are better at being able to block out unwanted sounds? He'd been gifted the Bose HearPhone which allowed him to block all sound from behind him, for instance. It has since died and they're no longer making them. But it was great when we attended community meals where there's a lot of noise. I feel like there MUST be something better for him out there as he struggles a lot. His hearing loss is becoming isolating for him. We continue to work to practice the skills we learned at a workshop ie: be in the same room, get their attention, provide contest and if repeating…reword. We still struggle to remember all that but we make it work. Suggestions welcome. Thanks.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Hearing Loss Support Group.


First , as someone with a bilateral profound hearing loss, thank you for advocating for better hearing for your partner.

The old analog hearing aids basically amplified all sound. Digital hearing aids have been around a long time and there a world of wonderful aids out there.
Amplification is a small part of what goes into programming a hearing aid.

You didn’t say what type of hearing loss your partner has…conductive or sensorineural….is the provider an Audiologist or hearing aid dispenser….is the aid for one or two ears….is the aid an in the ear type or behind the ear…is there a custom mold or dome….what is your partner’s main concern and situations where he has the most difficulty….how long has he had hearing loss…etc etc…..yeah it’s a lot.

Hearing loss isn’t always easy to diagnose and treat properly. You partner needs a reputable Audiologist who is an excellent programmer who hopefully does real ear measurements and can suggest one of the many outstanding digital aids on the market that have programs that that can be switched manually or automatically to suppress background noise, wind noise, are directional etc. They are little computers. Your partner may benefit from behind the ear aids rather than an in the ear aid and may need to get a custom mold (unvented or vented) or a dome. There is so much involved. The Audiologist should not be biased towards one brand or only deal with one brand but let your partner try a number of the major brands on the market today.

I recommend a hearing test at a reputable ENT practice with a good Audiologist who can take your partner through all the intricacies of programming which may involve numerous ongoing adjustments until they
are as good as they can be. Get a good physical ear exam by one of the ENT practices to. Have your partner explain exactly what he can or cannot hear and how voices sound to him and where he has the most trouble. That can be hard to describe but it will give the Audi an idea of where to start.

Your partner is the one that should be reading and researching about all the aids and assisted listening devices on the market today and about hearing loss in general. Joining a hearing aid blog or club or online forum like the Mayo forum here or the online Saywhat club is so beneficial. There are so many people with an enormous amount of personal experience and knowledge about hearing loss who bend over backwards to answer any and all questions.

Good luck on the journey and you are a terrific partner for what your are doing .

FL Mary

Please sign in or register to post a reply.