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

@barbb Thank you.. I will look into those… Caption Call or Captel phone.. My smart cell phone in the last year works so well with that I rely on that as I traveled ….. before the pandemic…. I have a friend who was a psychoanalyst…and she reminded me of some former clients who were hard of hearing and had somewhat receded from much of their former activity or interaction.. They were quick to reply… and now not so much.. So that kind of role reversal… going from being extroverted… to being withdrawn as an introvert is a waste of what life has to offer.. Damn the torpedoes ..full speed ahead.. hearing all the way.. Ken

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@ken82

@nla4625 Yes, it makes perfect sense to me … The use of Zoom Calls or Skype Calls where you can see the person should be very helpful… at least these video, face time calls need to be planned in advance but try them… I use my remote mic and my right hearing aid for phone calls…on my smart phone …that's all I have.. Now my only problem with "picture" calls is that I have to get my house in order.. or use a selected background… Let me know if those calls work for you..

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@ken82 The staff of my wonderful Mayo family doctor in Rochester, whom I miss terribly, is scheduling a video conference for me to get a second opinion from a Mayo pulmonologist about my lung problem. I'll be loading Zoom on my computer and learning how to use it for that. Hopefully, it's not the malware door it used to be and I'll like it. It will be fun to talk with my great nieces and nephews over it. They are all so tech savvy; and the little ones are growing up so fast. I'd totally forgotten about Skype. Thanks for reminding me. @golden418 — do you think the cross over type hearing aid you have for single side hearing let's you process and carry on conversations in real time…or when I get one will there be this lag time I experience on the phone of having to take time to process what I hear and then formulate and give a response? Thanks everyone for weighing in on this! Nancy

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I do not notice any lag. If there is one it is milli seconds. My audiologist and me actually talked about this – that someday there may be a way (perhaps a longer lag time or difference in "tone") that will allow for better sound locating.

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anyone know what the difference is between phonak audio m90, & new paradise 90 hearing aids? My understanding is that the computer chip & memory of the paradise is twice that of audio m90?
also, any difference between compression, attack/release functions? do paradise HAs have any better compression handling features?
I currently have phonak audio M90, which are so badly fitted for me, that I gave up on wearing them & wear a pair of 5 year old resounds which sound better.
not sure if M90s can work for me or to ask for paradise?
get to see VA audiologist jan 25.

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Many people who get quality hearing aids will have completely different experiences with the reception of speech. The true indicator of your benefit will be your speech discrimination score. Someone with a high frequency loss could have a 90% understanding of speech score and someone else with the same loss could have a 80% understanding of speech score. It depends on the damage to specific nerves which carry different sounds to the brain. It also depends on the expertise of the person doing the programming. Often, it is not that the brand is better but that the professional doing the programming needs to have the "art" besides the science. Never hurts to pay a little and go get a second opinion.

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@awilst

anyone know what the difference is between phonak audio m90, & new paradise 90 hearing aids? My understanding is that the computer chip & memory of the paradise is twice that of audio m90?
also, any difference between compression, attack/release functions? do paradise HAs have any better compression handling features?
I currently have phonak audio M90, which are so badly fitted for me, that I gave up on wearing them & wear a pair of 5 year old resounds which sound better.
not sure if M90s can work for me or to ask for paradise?
get to see VA audiologist jan 25.

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HAHA, you like the old linear aids, clear, powerful. The newer aids have so much compression that it is hard to hear the consonants!

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@earscan

Many people who get quality hearing aids will have completely different experiences with the reception of speech. The true indicator of your benefit will be your speech discrimination score. Someone with a high frequency loss could have a 90% understanding of speech score and someone else with the same loss could have a 80% understanding of speech score. It depends on the damage to specific nerves which carry different sounds to the brain. It also depends on the expertise of the person doing the programming. Often, it is not that the brand is better but that the professional doing the programming needs to have the "art" besides the science. Never hurts to pay a little and go get a second opinion.

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Proper hearing aid fitting is tricky. The fitter's skills are important. Yes, people with similar audiograms are likely to have different experiences with hearing instruments. It's important to work hard to adjust to new hearing instruments. Ask for help from the audiologist as much as necessary. If you are not getting enough help from new hearing instruments return them and ask to try a different brand/model.

It's important to understand that the nerves related to hearing are generally not the issue, and are usually functional. The problem is with damaged hair cells within the cochlea. Think of those tiny hair cells as the keys on a large piano keyboard that starts to deteriorate one sound at a time. Many are led to believe that 'nerve damage' has caused their hearing loss when that is not the case. The reason cochlear implants work is because they bypass those damaged hair cells in the cochlea and are able to stimulate the auditory nerve that has been sitting there dormant.

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@julieo4

Proper hearing aid fitting is tricky. The fitter's skills are important. Yes, people with similar audiograms are likely to have different experiences with hearing instruments. It's important to work hard to adjust to new hearing instruments. Ask for help from the audiologist as much as necessary. If you are not getting enough help from new hearing instruments return them and ask to try a different brand/model.

It's important to understand that the nerves related to hearing are generally not the issue, and are usually functional. The problem is with damaged hair cells within the cochlea. Think of those tiny hair cells as the keys on a large piano keyboard that starts to deteriorate one sound at a time. Many are led to believe that 'nerve damage' has caused their hearing loss when that is not the case. The reason cochlear implants work is because they bypass those damaged hair cells in the cochlea and are able to stimulate the auditory nerve that has been sitting there dormant.

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Thank you for clarifying, Julie. My hearing loss started when I was in my 40's and I have had two sudden losses since then ( I am 62 now) — the first was a pronounced loss in my right year (which is almost gone now) and more recently all the high frequency sounds are simply gone. My job required constant interaction with people and not being able to perform the way I used to led to early retirement. I am of course afraid of what is reserved for me in the future. I wear Oticom HAs with blue tooth technology (only 3 years old and with the best technology available according to my audiologist) but he is still unable to give me those sounds back. I may qualify for a CI on my right side but will need to go to a different doctor and audiologist, which is not feasible during the pandemic. I live in Virginia so anyone in Maryland or DC would do. Any recommendations, you or anyone? It is great to be part of this blog, BTW.

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@smendes21

Thank you for clarifying, Julie. My hearing loss started when I was in my 40's and I have had two sudden losses since then ( I am 62 now) — the first was a pronounced loss in my right year (which is almost gone now) and more recently all the high frequency sounds are simply gone. My job required constant interaction with people and not being able to perform the way I used to led to early retirement. I am of course afraid of what is reserved for me in the future. I wear Oticom HAs with blue tooth technology (only 3 years old and with the best technology available according to my audiologist) but he is still unable to give me those sounds back. I may qualify for a CI on my right side but will need to go to a different doctor and audiologist, which is not feasible during the pandemic. I live in Virginia so anyone in Maryland or DC would do. Any recommendations, you or anyone? It is great to be part of this blog, BTW.

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Pleased that I can be helpful. You live right in the heart of HLAA country. The home office moved from Bethesda to Rockville MD a few months ago, but had been in Bethesda since 1979. Your best bet is to contact HLAA. The website lists chapters of HLAA and their contact information. http://www.hearingloss.org People in those chapters will be happy to share their experiences with you. There are several options for you in the D.C., MD, and Virginia area. I hope this helps. I was on the national board of HLAA during the 80s and 90s. I watched the development of cochlear implants in awe. I finally decided to go for it in 2005. No regrets. It allowed me to return to work after a 24 year hiatus. I could share more about my personal experience, but think that's probably enough. 🙂 Good luck to you! NOTE: As a college student I was told I had 'nerve deafness'; that nothing could ever be done to correct that. That was in the 60s. Feeling fortunate.

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@julieo4

Pleased that I can be helpful. You live right in the heart of HLAA country. The home office moved from Bethesda to Rockville MD a few months ago, but had been in Bethesda since 1979. Your best bet is to contact HLAA. The website lists chapters of HLAA and their contact information. http://www.hearingloss.org People in those chapters will be happy to share their experiences with you. There are several options for you in the D.C., MD, and Virginia area. I hope this helps. I was on the national board of HLAA during the 80s and 90s. I watched the development of cochlear implants in awe. I finally decided to go for it in 2005. No regrets. It allowed me to return to work after a 24 year hiatus. I could share more about my personal experience, but think that's probably enough. 🙂 Good luck to you! NOTE: As a college student I was told I had 'nerve deafness'; that nothing could ever be done to correct that. That was in the 60s. Feeling fortunate.

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Thank you so much. I have recently found them and will definitely pay them a visit soon.

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