New to hearing aids - frustrated and looking for advice.

adamjt

New Member
I'm 30 years old and finally decided to get fitted for hearing aids to help with the high frequency loss I have. I've only been to one audiologist and this is the first pair I've tried, so I have no frame of reference for my experience.

According to my evaluation my hearing is normal up to 1khz, then it's a straight line down to 60db loss at 4khz, then flat from there up. She sells Oticon and Widex, and wanted to fit me with Widex Passion 115 because she's better at those than Oticon. That sounded weird to me but I went with it.

Only had minor issues with fitting, they kept coming out but the little retainer strap fixed it. I'm switching to contacts because the noise of my glasses rubbing on the aids is annoying.

WEEK 1: I could barely wear them at all.Certain frequencies felt wildly over-amplified and made my hearing much worse. I could barely hear speech over the sandpaper noise that my clothes made from walking across a room. Running water sounded like Niagara, my refrigerator sounded like it was about to explode, and sliding a piece of paper across a table sounded more like it was being torn in half. The room reverberations of people's voices were louder then the voice itself, making it hard to understand someone in the same room with me without looking at them.

WEEK 2: I told the audiologist about all these issues and she seemed confounded. She tried changing some gain settings and decided that I should try the child program since I don't have very wide ear canals. Now the sandpaper effect is diminished, though still present. Worse though, everything sounds padded in static. In quiet rooms, I always hear a low white noise, and it gets louder around other sounds. For example, in a quiet room with a clock, the static gets louder whenever the clock ticks. When people talk, I can hear them (still worse than without the aids) but there's always a few decibels of static added to everything. I opened a door that I know has a mild high-pitched squeak, and now the squeak is amplified to normal levels but the aid is also introducing this loud, metallic grating noise that sounds like a walkie-talkie going off inside my head.

If I had to sum up the experience, everything I hear now sounds like it's coming through a shitty CB radio. I know aids won't give me true, natural hearing but so far this is just a very expensive way to make it even harder for me to hear.

I'm wearing 2 hearing aids, and they're both having identical issues, so I can't imagine they're both bad.

I have to go back this week for another tuning, but my confidence in this audiologist is pretty low at this point. What are your thoughts? Has anyone had similar experiences, or tried the Passion 115 with poor results?
 

Sarfarigirl2011

Well-Known Member
I had 2 hearing aids all my life
have you tried the Oticons yet? these guys are great and I'm about to pick them up somewhere this week (I'm gonna have now Oticon Safaris)
my current hearings aids I have right now are Oticon Gaias but they're programmable with NO volume controls

I also had worn Oticon since January 2005 *wore Siemens in the past*
good luck with your hearing aids!!!!
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
I'm 30 years old and finally decided to get fitted for hearing aids to help with the high frequency loss I have. I've only been to one audiologist and this is the first pair I've tried, so I have no frame of reference for my experience.

According to my evaluation my hearing is normal up to 1khz, then it's a straight line down to 60db loss at 4khz, then flat from there up. She sells Oticon and Widex, and wanted to fit me with Widex Passion 115 because she's better at those than Oticon. That sounded weird to me but I went with it.

Only had minor issues with fitting, they kept coming out but the little retainer strap fixed it. I'm switching to contacts because the noise of my glasses rubbing on the aids is annoying.

WEEK 1: I could barely wear them at all.Certain frequencies felt wildly over-amplified and made my hearing much worse. I could barely hear speech over the sandpaper noise that my clothes made from walking across a room. Running water sounded like Niagara, my refrigerator sounded like it was about to explode, and sliding a piece of paper across a table sounded more like it was being torn in half. The room reverberations of people's voices were louder then the voice itself, making it hard to understand someone in the same room with me without looking at them.

WEEK 2: I told the audiologist about all these issues and she seemed confounded. She tried changing some gain settings and decided that I should try the child program since I don't have very wide ear canals. Now the sandpaper effect is diminished, though still present. Worse though, everything sounds padded in static. In quiet rooms, I always hear a low white noise, and it gets louder around other sounds. For example, in a quiet room with a clock, the static gets louder whenever the clock ticks. When people talk, I can hear them (still worse than without the aids) but there's always a few decibels of static added to everything. I opened a door that I know has a mild high-pitched squeak, and now the squeak is amplified to normal levels but the aid is also introducing this loud, metallic grating noise that sounds like a walkie-talkie going off inside my head.

If I had to sum up the experience, everything I hear now sounds like it's coming through a shitty CB radio. I know aids won't give me true, natural hearing but so far this is just a very expensive way to make it even harder for me to hear.

I'm wearing 2 hearing aids, and they're both having identical issues, so I can't imagine they're both bad.

I have to go back this week for another tuning, but my confidence in this audiologist is pretty low at this point. What are your thoughts? Has anyone had similar experiences, or tried the Passion 115 with poor results?
If you don't feel comfortable with the audi, return the aids (should be minimum, if any, return fee) and find another audi. There are good audis and bad audis out there. Since you said she seemed confounded with your description of the sounds you were hearing, she doesn't sound like she's a competent audi. Audi's should be used to the fact that the setting the computer gives our HAs based on our hearing test is not necessarily the best programming for our hearing loss. I found an audi who does REM testing and that indicated that the computer had given me too much bass (I have loss in both the low and high freqs).
But, all that being said, it does take a new user time to adjust to the sounds. Yes, the water will sound like Niagra (how'd you like the flushing of the toilet?:shock:).
Make sure you're happy with the HAs before the end of your trial period. If you're not, then don't keep them. Either try different ones and/or find a new audi.
 

AlleyCat

Well-Known Member
I've never had the water sounding like Niagara. I might just be too deaf for that !!! :)

But I'm with the above posts. You absolutely do not have to stick with your current audi. In fact, I would really suggest you look around for another. And, if you can, return those aids. They should be making things better for you, not the other way around. Your audi might be biased towards certain manufacturers - get one that's neutral to all brands. Really. You're spending a lot of money for this.
 

adamjt

New Member
My current audi doesn't do loaner pairs. I had to pay in full before I could try the aids and there's a $300 return fee. Is that about normal? She told met that with my insurance I might be able to get some extra money for them but only if she didn't take payment up front and billed me for the aids. She said she refused to do that so now i have no chance to get the extra coverage.
 

whatdidyousay!

Well-Known Member
Your audiologist should had told you that it would take some time to get use to hearing new sounds! I was 7 years old when I got my first HA and I was shocked that a paper bag made so much noise! It took me awhile to get use to hearing new sound for the first time. I agree that you should look for an new audiologist you feel comfortable with.
 

candybrowneyes

Active Member
I remember when I first got hearing aids and I had the same type of issues. First issue was I didnt have a volume control on my aides, it was all done by itself. They didnt have ear molds... Other sounds were being echoed through little air pockets that werent blocked by an ear mold... After awhile I switched Audis and hearing aids. I have a power aid to where I can adjust volume and I now have ear molds which helped A GREAT deal.

I do remember when I had the Zon 7 hearing aids, everything was loud at first but it just takes time getting used to. If you dont like your Audi DO CHANGE as soon as you can so you dont get stuck with hearing aids you dont like or an Audi.. I have experience in that department and I wish I would have done so many things different.. Your audi is there for YOU and should adjust them to your liking and what sounds ok to you! Its tough though and I am sure it feels awkward to have to think of telling someone that you arent interested in their product or them, but in the long run it really is better.

Find an Audi you like and trust, someone you click with. They will be willing to help you with what you need. Its your money!
 

sallylou

Potterhead and Janeite
Premium Member
My 1st audi never got the fit or the program right for my Oticons. I found a new audi that wears a hearing aid and he's great. Finally, a good fit and appropriate programming. I'm a happy camper! Do you have some Deaf/HOH friends who can refer you to an audi? I found this audi by asking around at an ASL social.

If you aren't happy with your HAs and you can return them and pay a restocking fee, you may want to return them. If not, take your HAs to a new audi. You'll have to pay for reprogramming but its better than being miserable with your HAs.

Good luck!
 

Sarfarigirl2011

Well-Known Member
@Sallylou, U have Oticons? so do I but I'm going ultra powered this year since my gaias are 6 years old and also starting to become a piece of crap 2 me now LOL

I will be getting Oticon Safaris somewhere around this week :D
 

adamjt

New Member
My audi did tell me that it would take time to get used to new sounds, but what I'm talking about is that these HAs are really messing up the existing sounds in addition to introducing new, high-frequency ones.

Example, the hinge on my door. If I put my ear right up to it I can clearly hear a very high-frequency squeak. I can't hear the upper parts of that noise if I'm a few feet away from the hinge. When I put my HAs in, I can hear the squeak but there is a ridiculously loud grating/squirting noise generated that is in a lower register than the squeak. Rather than just hearing more sounds, everything is slightly to grossly garbled.

I'll give it another week then look for another audi. According to Yelp there's a really good one just south of the city.
 

Sarfarigirl2011

Well-Known Member
My audi did tell me that it would take time to get used to new sounds, but what I'm talking about is that these HAs are really messing up the existing sounds in addition to introducing new, high-frequency ones.

Example, the hinge on my door. If I put my ear right up to it I can clearly hear a very high-frequency squeak. I can't hear the upper parts of that noise if I'm a few feet away from the hinge. When I put my HAs in, I can hear the squeak but there is a ridiculously loud grating/squirting noise generated that is in a lower register than the squeak. Rather than just hearing more sounds, everything is slightly to grossly garbled.

I'll give it another week then look for another audi. According to Yelp there's a really good one just south of the city.

the squeaking sound? maybe your earmolds might be loose
mine does that with my old hearing aids :)
 

sallylou

Potterhead and Janeite
Premium Member
My new audi did a test to determine my loudest comfort level. This is the first time that I've had an audi do this. The audi says that he programs for the hearing loss subject to the loudest comfort level. It makes a big difference! Ask your new audi about it.

Safarigirl, good luck with your new HA's!
 

Fl885

New Member
adamjt, how long did you have these widex aids, by las you have 45-60 days to try them and return them for a full refund, I can't believe the stupid audi wants to charge you $300, this never ever happened to me, I wore HA for over 12 years, you can learn so much from me, lol
I was normal hearing then in less than a year and half I was medium to severe, and when I first saw the 1st audi she fitted me with Oticon and I was going crazy the day I left her office going back home, everything sound niagra and whatever, LOL, it took me months or even year to get used to them, now I'm not telling you to hold into these, no way, you need to try several brands, your audi may be getting bigger commission from widex ...., CHANGE THE AUDI and CHANGE HER NOW, I did not listen to some friends and stayed with my first audi for a while, the switched to a different one when I moved to a different place and that was someone better then I switch to the last one which I have been seeing for over 9-10 years, I did try 2 between the last one and I would always run back to her, you need to find someone that ins understanding, not money hungry that could give you an appointment same day or next day, that is willing to work with you and let you try as many brands as you can (at least 3) until you are happy, is it not enough that you are suffering from hearing loss?, now they want to add the $$$ and stuck it in your face for another 5+ years or stay with incompetent audi, NO, do yourself favor and go find much better one, where are you located? you should try to find people who are happy with their audi and go to that one even if you have to drive an hour or 2, you will have a long relationship with this audi, trust me, you need to pick one that matches your personality and go with your flow.
I have always had oticon, I changed them 5-6 times, every 2 years I get new ones, I did try Phonak ( they were digital, never liked them as I felt the background noise was spotty and way too much, not my liking but many like phonic), I did try Widex, forget it I returned them the next day, only Oticon did so well for me, I became so addicted to their sound that I could never go with anything else, I can understand the phone with them when many people with my hearing loss (now is severe, 90 db loss both ears) can't understand much on phone, I did feel that the older oticon, digifoucs, and the other one forgot the name were better with phone quality compared to the one I'm using now, latest one Oticon agile, but this agile is so tiny and the sound is purer with very good masking for the background noise. yesterday I had to wear the older one and I could see huge difference in sound quality or even speech understanding, these agil cost me like $3200 a piece, they have blue tooth and you get streamer that you could use with your phone, iphone, ipod, mp3 or whatever, very very cool.
Don't settle for less, go to a different audi and let her/him give you latest oticon to try, you do have 60 days with oticon, try them for 50 days and then return them and try something else, LOL, but you will need at least 45 days to get used to some sounds, and yes everything is amplified :(
Good luck
 

djchur

New Member
adamjt,

It does take a long while to get used to hearing aids. I've used them for nearly 40 years and even now if I get new ones it will take quite a while to get used to a different quality of sound. My advice is to hang on in there and give them a fair trial, you'll get used to them eventually, even if it takes months.

Here in the UK we have no choice as to which brands of hearing aids we use. At NHS hearing aid clinics you see a different audi every time you go, it's rare to see the same person twice and if your clinic uses a certain brand of HA then that's what you get! My clinic uses Siemens so everyone who attends comes out with a Siemens HA, whether they like it or not!
 

Kateweb

New Member
My current audi doesn't do loaner pairs. I had to pay in full before I could try the aids and there's a $300 return fee. Is that about normal? She told met that with my insurance I might be able to get some extra money for them but only if she didn't take payment up front and billed me for the aids. She said she refused to do that so now i have no chance to get the extra coverage.

almost all the HA cos have a 30day return policy that $300 seems a bit much esp since you are not satisfied I would call your insurance to see if they could work something out and get you to a new Audi.
 

LoveBlue

Well-Known Member
almost all the HA cos have a 30day return policy that $300 seems a bit much esp since you are not satisfied I would call your insurance to see if they could work something out and get you to a new Audi.
I think my deposit (and therefore return fee?) was around $300. We have to remember that part of the cost for HAs is the providers fees for fitting, hearing tests, etc.
So, hypothetically, lets say:
Initial office visit - $25
Hearing Test - $25
Initial fitting - $50
Add'l fittings - $25/each

And let's not forget ear molds, if needed, which are not returnable. I forget how much mine cost, but they're not cheap.

Unfortunately you usually don't find out if you like your audi until after you've started trialing the aids, so you will lose out on the deposit/return fee if you need to switch audis (and risk doing the same with the next audi). But it's still better than spending thousands on a pair of HAs that don't "work for you".
 

pminkc

New Member
Widex

My audi also INSISTED I try Widex, and even when I asked to try other brands has yet to let me try one. They just keep making adjustments to the Widex trial pair and tell me my brain has to learn to accept the sounds. Widex must be giving kick-backs to these doctors or something, because I've worn ReSound for 7 years and had no sound issues with them like I've had with the Widex. You are correct, the rustling from clothing makes understanding any speech very difficult. I want to ask everyone to remain entirely still so I can hear them! :) And the heater blowing makes it hard to hear the tv, which I didn't notice at all in my ReSounds.

I am returning the Widex next week and will search for another audiologist. My advice would be go somewhere else that will let you try other brands. There are hearing aids out there that will work for you. Good luck!
 

SimonJ

Member
I have Widex and I think they are great, I did have to go back a few times to fine tune them but overall a big step up from the old ones. (Siemens).

I also got told I would need to get used to sounds and eventually they ended up turning them down as I wasn't getting used to it, just getting headaches.

Now they are working for me rather than against me. Don't give up, keep going back if they don't work for you.
 

InfamousMacBook

New Member
I have Phonak and I love mine. I am new deaf person too! I suggest you possibly look for a NewSound Hearing Center. That is where I go. Not sure if they are US Based or not but, all over Texas in Major Cities and they carry all top brands of hearing aids. I tried several pair in the office with my molds before I took mine home for the first time to explore the world. I found my first pair I took home were the keepers after one adjustment. I only hear weird noises when I push hair behind my ears or roll down the window and do 70MPH even though I have a windblock technology it doesn't work at 70MPH. lol
 
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