Author Topic: Hearing aids & In the Ear Piece  (Read 2901 times)

suboo73

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Hearing aids & In the Ear Piece
« on: April 07, 2011, 09:46:23 AM »
I am trying to buy a hearing aid and have some questions about the fit...  With no previous experience, i first tried a Beltone BTE (behind the ear) hearing aid and WOW, there were sounds i haven't heard in a long time!  It was great for those few minutes i put on the demo in the office.  It had a plastic tube to bring the sound in closer to the eardrum, but no piece inside the ear.

Then, i tried a ReSound Alera (newest model) with an RIE (receiver in the ear) and it was great too!  More channels (ie better sound quality) and actually  cheaper in price.  But the RIE bothered me after a few days, and on the fourth day my ear hurt like i had an ear infection!  --  I am now trying a BTE ReSound Live (older model) and it is too big for my smaller ears.  Same earpiece inside the ear canal and at one point it also hurt like an infection.  The newer ReSound BTE is bigger, so i don't think that will work either.

--Has anyone used a cusom molded 'in the ear piece' with success?
--Any issues with soreness or iinfections with the custom piece?
--I hate the 'fullness in the ear' feeling - does the custom mold make it feel even more 'plugged?'
--Any BTE units that are smaller in size?

I realize the hearing aid might not work forever since I am in W & W mode.  But my speech discrimination is good now if i can 'turn up the volume' and eliminate some of the background noises at least for work.

If anyone has any suggestions, i am 'all ears.' (pun intended!)  Thank you, in advance, for your help!

Sue
suboo73
Little sister to Bigsister!
9mm X 6mm X 5mm
Misdiagnosed 12+ years?
Diagnosed Sept. 2008/MRI 4/09/MRI 12/09/MRI 1/21/11
Continued W & W

TJ

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Re: Hearing aids & In the Ear Piece
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2011, 10:17:34 AM »
Sue,

I have hearing aids on both ears, as I had "sudden hearing loss in my left ear and the AN was found on my Right side.  I have both kinds of hearing pieces.  I have the full or "closed ear" piece on my left and the small tube type in my right.  The closed for full earpiece on the left allows me to hear much much better as they are designed to "trap" the sound and direct it into your ear.   The only draw back to this type is you cannot hear on the phone with it, so I had to get use to using my other ear for phone.  To me it is very comfortable and does not feel as my ear is full.  Just remember which ever type you get you MUST give yourself time to get use to it.   I have not had any problem with soreness.  Mine are not that big but I know they do sell them that are very small.  I am a bit older so the size really did not matter to me.  Since they are expensive I wanted what was going to to the best job.  I started wearing mind for about two hours a day and increased it to now I were them all the time. 

Hope this helps you.

TJ

suboo73

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Re: Hearing aids & In the Ear Piece
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2011, 07:00:39 AM »
Hi TJ,

Thank you for your reply!  I never thought about one person using two different types of hearing aids at the same time, interesting!  Over these last 2+ weeks, I have gotten more used to the earpiece, and think I could deal with it ok in the future.  But I don't like the resulting soreness after several days - so maybe I try to insert the earpiece in too far?  

I had the volume on the current one turned down slightly.  Besides the soreness, it seems like my tinnitus is also increased with the soreness.  So maybe I am trying too hard to get used to it!   My brother wears two Dot ReSound units and loves them!  Maybe I need to practice a bit more patience until my ear canal adapts to the device.

As for the phone - the new Alera (ReSound) unit has a telephone 'program' but I didn't bother having that programmed as I switched to my left ear years ago.  

For the BTE versus the RIE - I don't care how it looks, I would even consider one of those jazzy colors! (even though I am not a 'fashionista!")  I want the aid to fit properly and work well, with the best adjustability while I can still hear something.  This would help me while I am still employed with meetings and such.

THank you again for your reply!

Sue
suboo73
Little sister to Bigsister!
9mm X 6mm X 5mm
Misdiagnosed 12+ years?
Diagnosed Sept. 2008/MRI 4/09/MRI 12/09/MRI 1/21/11
Continued W & W

CHD63

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Re: Hearing aids & In the Ear Piece
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2011, 07:26:52 PM »
Sue .....

I think you and I have talked about this before ...... but for the benefit of others who may read this ...... I have had two different brands of "in the ear piece" hearing aids.  First one was a MicroTech Curve 7 that created just the soreness you are describing.  I tried for months experimenting with various in-ear pieces, starting with one molded to my ear canal, ending with a standard piece.  That worked fairly well as far as the soreness was concerned but not very satisfactory in hearing.  The second and current one is a Widex Mind that has a much smaller but molded to my ear canal piece.  It has never caused me any soreness and I hear quite well with it, except in noisy situations and a few other specific type of situations.

Of course $5,000 later, all of this is going to soon be a moot point when my regrowing tumor is removed via translab and I become SSD ...... but I am looking forward to having a BAHA, which I am hoping will be as good or better than what I can hear now.

As for the tinnitus, strangely enough, mine is more tolerable when I am wearing a hearing aid ..... it seems like my brain is working harder to hear sounds from outside my head, rather than inside when the input is nil.  That probably does not make sense to anyone who does not have loud tinnitus.

Clarice
Right MVD for trigeminal neuralgia, 1994, Pittsburgh, PA
Left retrosigmoid 2.6 cm AN removal, February, 2008, Duke U
Tumor regrew to 1.3 cm in February, 2011
Translab AN removal, May, 2011 at HEI, Friedman & Schwartz
Oticon Ponto Pro abutment implant at same time; processor added August, 2011

sunfish

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Re: Hearing aids & In the Ear Piece
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 10:41:32 AM »
For the ReSound aids, you can use a larger or smaller "dome" on the receiver that goes in your ear.  I started with a little dome, but it would slide out of my ear.  Then I got a larger dome, which I'm still using a year and a half later.  Yes, if you push the thing too far into your ear, it wil cause some soreness.  My ENT has me use a mix of half vinegar and half rubbing alcohol, a couple drops every few days, to stop itchy, sore ear.  He says it keeps the pH at a correct level.  Maybe you need a smaller dome.

What did you think about the Alera?  That might be my next aid, in a year or so, when my insurance will pay again.  Seems like my hearing (or lack thereof ;)) is stable at this point, at least for now.  I do need to go see my audiologist soon, as I think I need the settings turned up a little.

IMO, it takes several months for your brain, ears and hearing aid to learn to work together properly.
Rt. side 14mm x 11mm near brain stem
Severe higher frequency hearing loss
I use a hearing aid (Dot 20 by Resound)
Balance issues improving!!!!
Cyberknife March17, 2010
Roper Hospital Cancer Center, Charleston, SC

nftwoed

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Re: Hearing aids & In the Ear Piece
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2011, 02:44:07 PM »
Hi;
  You wrote; "If anyone has any suggestions".  > Keep shopping : ) Some pretty small BTEs are made! And, if the feedback manager will control it, get an open ear mold to avoid the occluded feeling.
  I feel an 'In the Ear' will always bother you. You can get a Phonak BTE ( Unitrons are cheaper, but like Phonak ) with no ear mold but just an internal fitting.


I am trying to buy a hearing aid and have some questions about the fit...  With no previous experience, i first tried a Beltone BTE (behind the ear) hearing aid and WOW, there were sounds i haven't heard in a long time!  It was great for those few minutes i put on the demo in the office.  It had a plastic tube to bring the sound in closer to the eardrum, but no piece inside the ear.

Then, i tried a ReSound Alera (newest model) with an RIE (receiver in the ear) and it was great too!  More channels (ie better sound quality) and actually  cheaper in price.  But the RIE bothered me after a few days, and on the fourth day my ear hurt like i had an ear infection!  --  I am now trying a BTE ReSound Live (older model) and it is too big for my smaller ears.  Same earpiece inside the ear canal and at one point it also hurt like an infection.  The newer ReSound BTE is bigger, so i don't think that will work either.

--Has anyone used a cusom molded 'in the ear piece' with success?
--Any issues with soreness or iinfections with the custom piece?
--I hate the 'fullness in the ear' feeling - does the custom mold make it feel even more 'plugged?'
--Any BTE units that are smaller in size?

I realize the hearing aid might not work forever since I am in W & W mode.  But my speech discrimination is good now if i can 'turn up the volume' and eliminate some of the background noises at least for work.

If anyone has any suggestions, i am 'all ears.' (pun intended!)  Thank you, in advance, for your help!

Sue

suboo73

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Re: Hearing aids & In the Ear Piece
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2011, 06:54:36 AM »
Nftwoed & Sunfish,

Thank you for your replies!  I am still testing Resound - this time with an RIE that has bigger holes in it and is smaller overall.
Ironically, it is making part of my outer ear sore - crazy!   ::)

Sunfish - I have 'regressed' to older Resound units just to try the fit (mainly of the RIE).  Now i think i have the Dot Resound, with automatic features, no programs.
I will say that the 17 channels on the Alera were the very BEST, and less feedback with clearer sound.
This would be the only model in that category now available, so i would have to buy that one, and i liked the sound the best.
It also has a program for the telephone, but i gave up that a long time ago, so no matter.  I can use that 'program' as a music program if i want to!
The smaller receiver with the bigger holes is definitely better, too.

Nftwoed - My regular audiologist at UVA suggested a Phonak, so still might try one.  I finally found someone in my town who sells them.
-----------

I now appreciate how important it is to have your audiologist nearby.  Even for the 'company' discount, i would have to travel 25+ miles.
Don't think it is worth it now, with the price of gas.  And i have a regular day job, so taking off a 1/2 day of work every time does not seem practical.

Thank you both for your advice!  My brother went to one audiologist, was fit with Resound and loves them.
I am still shopping, comparing sounds and willing to take the time to get the fit right.

Sue

PS  I am just not one of those people who care to have a 'fancy' cell phone - just the basics are fine.  But i can see that having the latest features on the hearing aide can be an advantage.
suboo73
Little sister to Bigsister!
9mm X 6mm X 5mm
Misdiagnosed 12+ years?
Diagnosed Sept. 2008/MRI 4/09/MRI 12/09/MRI 1/21/11
Continued W & W

 


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