Using a Bi-Cros for Single-Sided Deafness (SSD), and Domino Pro Info
I have single-sided deafness, with my right ear totally deaf, and a significant loss in high frequencies in my left ear. For over 50 years, I’ve used a bi-cros system, in which a unit on my deaf side transmits sound from that side to a unit on my hearing ear, and a unit on that side amplifies high tones for that ear. The bi-cros is intended to help me hear sounds on my right, which I wouldn't be able to hear otherwise. And it has done a pretty good job of that, generally.
Lately though, I've sometimes found that I can hear better if I only use the aid on my hearing, left ear. I find that there is less of the distracting background noise that can make it so hard for somebody with single-sided deafness to understand what people are saying, because it all goes into one ear. And I saw a note on another hearing forum from an audiologist who said that only using one aid can be better than using a bi-cros for SSD (which is, I’ve found, a minority opinion).
My main hearing challenges have always been hearing my passenger when I drive with my deaf ear toward them, hearing in noisy restaurants, and hearing in meetings, which are often in large rooms, sometimes with a noisy fan or air conditioning. For those situations, I actually take off both aids, and I use an external unit called a Domino Pro, which has a transmitter unit that I can have my wife wear when we're in the car or in a restaurant, or that I can put on the other side of a table to hear other people; and a receiver unit, which receives sound from the transmitter, and also has microphones of its own, which I can point at a speaker who is far away from me. It has been a real godsend, and I often find that I hear close to 100% of what’s said (except when more than one person talks at the same time).
I'm going to be getting a new aid pretty soon, and I'm thinking of only getting a unit for my hearing ear, and not a bi-cros. I would then use only that unit for situations when I don't need the Domino Pro.
Have any other bi-cros users found that sometimes it's better to only use the aid on the hearing ear? I'd appreciate any feedback or experiences that you have.