problems with latest new hearing aids & what to do about them.

Posted by awilst @awilst, Dec 29, 2020

I am a senior who has been getting hearing aids from VA . I have been diagnosed as having a severe hearing loss. My latest hearing aids are phonak audio M90s, both ears.. I have been refitted several times (using real ear measurement technology) by VA & am still unable to get much clear speech benefit from these Phonaks. The audiologist says the problem is with compression & frequency transfer issues.
At the moment I am dead in the water. Been to VA several times with little benefit.
question … Is there much difference in hearing aid brands ? would a different manufacturer have better managing technology in handling attack/release & compression? The literature I read says Phonak is a top brand?
Anyone out there who can give me some advise.
thanks for reply

art

I have mild hearing loss, and have had Oticon OPN1 haring aides for over 3 years now. They cost over $6,000. but have been worth it to me as they support Bluetooth connection to iPhone for calls and for listening to audible books from Audible.com. I also have Oticon TV adaptor which feed digital TV sound to hearing aids controlled separately from TV speakers so both my wife and I can adjust sound. I love the TV sound as it is crystal clear including when people speak fast etc. It will be time for hearing aides soon, and my Audiologist is now recommending Phonak which apparently has been improving aides to better dieal with sounds in a crowd such as a dinner table. I would like to get rechargable batteries if they work well. I'd be interested in comments about both Phonak and Oticon.

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@awilst My advice is that you ask the audiologist at the VA to bring in a Phonak rep to help with the programming. From my experience, the manufacturer reps seem eager to help the audiologists. Phonak is a major manufacturer so they should be available. I hope the audiologists ego doesn't interfere. Let me know how this pans out.
Tony in Michigan

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Don't accept the ones that don't work for you. Do what Tony said above or just ask for different hearing aids. Not all audiologists in VA do the same thing. They all seem to have their own preferences and practices. Also know that not all REMs are the same and not all audiologists are good at it. VA won't replace your hearing aids for 4 years so it is best to get it right NOW.

Do you always see the same audiologist? Maybe a different one could be more helpful. I'm not sure how to go about requesting a different audiologist at VA, but if the one you see can't help you then you ned to try a different one. You need to be your own advocate.

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@tonyinmi

@awilst My advice is that you ask the audiologist at the VA to bring in a Phonak rep to help with the programming. From my experience, the manufacturer reps seem eager to help the audiologists. Phonak is a major manufacturer so they should be available. I hope the audiologists ego doesn't interfere. Let me know how this pans out.
Tony in Michigan

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@tonyinmi Very interesting approach to the problem!

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@barbb

@tonyinmi Very interesting approach to the problem!

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@barbb The programming software is very complex. Each manufacturer has their own software so most audiologists have to have some familiarity with several programs. It's hard to be an expert on everything that each manufacturer provides.
Tony in Michigan

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@dsh33782

I have mild hearing loss, and have had Oticon OPN1 haring aides for over 3 years now. They cost over $6,000. but have been worth it to me as they support Bluetooth connection to iPhone for calls and for listening to audible books from Audible.com. I also have Oticon TV adaptor which feed digital TV sound to hearing aids controlled separately from TV speakers so both my wife and I can adjust sound. I love the TV sound as it is crystal clear including when people speak fast etc. It will be time for hearing aides soon, and my Audiologist is now recommending Phonak which apparently has been improving aides to better dieal with sounds in a crowd such as a dinner table. I would like to get rechargable batteries if they work well. I'd be interested in comments about both Phonak and Oticon.

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Hi Don….. I have had Oticon aids for 3 years and was quite satisfied with them for the first two years. This last year I lost more hearing to the point where the in-ear microphone no longer worked and I had to go with the ear mold which does not work as well for me. Still have the rechargeable batteries which are great, just put the aids on the charger at night and the charge will hold for at least 15 hours the next day (on mine). I do not have the Bluetooth connection or the TV adaptation because I did not know anything about them until joining this group. My audiologist never mentioned any other options at all.
My sister has the Phonak brand and thinks they are wonderful…. has had no problems in 8 years of use. I've also read that it is a very good brand and am considering trying Phonak next. I'd be interested in knowing what you decide and how it works for you. Good luck…. Judy

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thanks for input. still need answer to my technical question. what brand/model HA has the most adaptable compression/attack/release capability? will try VA again. but any alternative suggestions greatly appreciated.
dont know if another brand/model HA will solve problem or not?? or my speech hearing perception loss is a done deal.

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@dsh33782

I have mild hearing loss, and have had Oticon OPN1 haring aides for over 3 years now. They cost over $6,000. but have been worth it to me as they support Bluetooth connection to iPhone for calls and for listening to audible books from Audible.com. I also have Oticon TV adaptor which feed digital TV sound to hearing aids controlled separately from TV speakers so both my wife and I can adjust sound. I love the TV sound as it is crystal clear including when people speak fast etc. It will be time for hearing aides soon, and my Audiologist is now recommending Phonak which apparently has been improving aides to better dieal with sounds in a crowd such as a dinner table. I would like to get rechargable batteries if they work well. I'd be interested in comments about both Phonak and Oticon.

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You say you have mild hearing loss, and that the Oticon aids with BT features you use, are working for you. Most people get more than 3 years out of a pair of hearing aids. I'm curious as to why you're considering new hearing aids now? Phonak is a good brand, as are Oticon, WIdex, ReSound and a few others. Technology keeps evolving, but the cost of hearing aids prevents many from getting new aids in such a short timeline.

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@awilst

thanks for input. still need answer to my technical question. what brand/model HA has the most adaptable compression/attack/release capability? will try VA again. but any alternative suggestions greatly appreciated.
dont know if another brand/model HA will solve problem or not?? or my speech hearing perception loss is a done deal.

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Different strokes for different folks! Seriously, our hearing losses are all unique. What works best for one person may not work well at all for another. The most important thing for you to do is self advocate. Tell whomever is fitting you with hearing aids what is working and what isn't. Ask to try a different brand or model if the one you've been fitted with isn't doing the job well. Many people who sell hearing aids only sell one brand. Consequently, that is their entire focus when selling. You will get more options when dealing with a provider who sells different brands. The provider is required to give you a limited trial period; usually 30 days. Once that trial period is over, it's unlikely that you'll be able to return those aids. If what you are trying isn't working, ask for a different fitting. If the provider isn't willing to allow that, return the aids and go elsewhere. Providers differ greatly. Good luck to you.

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I've been pleased overall with my 3 year old Oticon OPN1 hearing aids. The only reason I would buy another pair before these wear out is to improve hearing in a group setting such as at a restaurant. But we haven't eaten in a restaurant since March 2020. Of course my audiologist would be happy to sell me a new pair of Phonak aids now, and it would be nice to have a backup pair.

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@dsh33782

I've been pleased overall with my 3 year old Oticon OPN1 hearing aids. The only reason I would buy another pair before these wear out is to improve hearing in a group setting such as at a restaurant. But we haven't eaten in a restaurant since March 2020. Of course my audiologist would be happy to sell me a new pair of Phonak aids now, and it would be nice to have a backup pair.

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Assistive devices that work with hearing aids can make a big difference in noisy settings. Whether those devices are used with BlueTooth, or telecoils they basically do the same thing. A hand held personal microphone can work well. You can set it on the table if you're out. Reality: Anytime we are in a noisy setting like a restaurant with background music and crowd noise, we will be challenged. Good quality hearing aids have noise suppression, but none are able to completely eliminate that noise. I've found the assistive devices that go beyond hearing aids to be the best solution for me.

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Don't purchase a new pair when you can use the full benefit of your hearing aids. The audiologist can tweek the benefits on your aids based on what your needs may need now. Many of the new aids 'may' have newer benefits for many more dollars but they still only offer to hear for your ears and that is it. Discovering and using the assistive listening devices that complement your aids which will help your hear in many different environments and situations is the way to go. These were added to work along with your aids. Remember our CI/HAs which are computers.
If you look at your PC on the desk…there are many parts that work along with the PC – they are marvelous when you can watch a movie, send an email out or even listen to music. The monitor, motherboard, hard drive are only a few of the different parts of the computer just like your hearing devices have different parts to help you hear well. Another option is to have your audiologist send in your aids to the manufacturer for a good cleaning before their warrantee is over. That way you have a full three years of wear on them so they last longer for you. I am on my sixth year of life with my Resound hearing aids after having them reconditioned after five years wear and having them reprogrammed to match my needs/via audiogram by the audiologists.

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