A New Dawn

As I trotted down the corridor at Clinic O yesterday behind the hearing aid chap in scrubs who had just called my name, I noticed he seemed to have his hands full.

“Take a seat, Mrs Dancer”, he said, carefully releasing his pile of stuff on to the table beside the silicone ear model. What was in those boxes? I watched intently as some familiar wires appeared from the drawer…it couldn’t be, surely?

It was.

“Today, we’re going to fit you with a second aid, but technology has moved on plus Siemens no longer hold the NHS contract here, so you’re getting two new ones…do you have your current aid?”

Holy Smoke, this was a turn up for the books. Like Christmas and winning the Lottery all in one. I handed over the Siemens Chroma S, and felt a slight twinge of betrayal anxiety as I saw it cast aside, with its nearly new dome pulled inside out by its hasty removal. It looked like a beige beetle on its back with a defiant leg in the air, and I wondered if I might come to regret parting with it so easily. Being the fickle sort, I was soon distracted by the opening of the boxes, and I leant forward eagerly to see what was inside.

The first three majestic notes of Also Sprach Zarathustra rang out in the phantom music department of my auditory cortex as some tissue paper was unwrapped on the table in front of me. Da…daa…daaaa… Gosh, this was exciting. An earhook and some unidentifiable bits fell out first and were put to one side, then another earhook and some more unidentifiable bits. The tympani section of Also Sprach pounded away dramatically inside my head while another tissue paper package prepared to be unwrapped. It took a while. As Also Sprach reached its dramatic climax, the first Danalogic i-FIT 71 emerged slowly from its cocoon. Then the second. I could bear it no longer.

“What colour are they, what colour are they?”

An outstretched hand gave me my answer.

“Ah. New NHS Beige”, I said, not realising that colour was going to be the least of my concerns in half an hour’s time.

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47 Responses to “A New Dawn”


  1. 1 babs scott March 6, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    A New Fawn surely!

    I take it you got 2 of the beasts? How does it feel to be hearing in stereo now? You left me hanging on tenterhooks for the rest of your audiological experience at Clinic O. Will I have to wait for the next installment or will you put me out of my misery? Mine are danalogics too but as I said before they’re a nice dark brown, but not as up to the minute as yours even if they are beige. Commiserations on serious lack of colour choice but I do hope they more than make up for it in increased hearing ability.

    Best wishes

    B 🙂

    • 2 moiradancer March 6, 2012 at 11:26 pm

      I did indeed get 2 Babs, and the stereo effect versus mono is night and day, there’s no doubt about that. Also, the sound quality of the Danalogics is wonderful on sounds, but on silence…AAAAAAAAAAAAGH! The circuit noise is WAY louder than the Siemens, even with just one aid, and I’m now listening to everything over surround sound static. So far, the only sound sources which can drown it out are electric toothbrushing, the toilet flushing and Glasgow Central in the rush hour. It’s the first time since getting hearing aids that I’ve been seeking relief in loud background noise and avoiding quiet.

      I realise that’s the downside of my good high frequency hearing, and reverse slope tendencies, but the Siemens circuit noise was definitely quieter. I’ll give it a whirl for a couple of weeks to see if I’ll acclimatise to it, but it’s not looking good so far. Bah! 😦

  2. 3 Rose March 7, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Holy smokes you found something louder than the Siemens? That’s gotta be so loud people will stop you in the street to ask why you are making that noise! I now live in fear that I will be forced to move house if they lose the Phonak contract around here, or that my Nathos’s will be prised screaming from my clawed hands. I’ll trade them if they let me have a pair of H2Os though, the first hearing aid water resistant enough to be worn in a swimming pool (though not with a great deal of intentional immersion, but enough to take a splash with the kids) has reached the NHS contract. Maybe in 3 years we actual patients will be able to get at them. Can but hope.

    Keep on their cases, circuit noise is neither normal nor inevitable, I am wearing a pair of superpower aids and even with 15dB high frequency hearing I hear not a breath of circuit noise. Now my tinnitus on the other hand…

    • 4 moiradancer March 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      That’s interesting that you don’t get any noise with your superpower aids Rose, gives me hope that I’ll be able to hear my tinnitus in peace again one day 😉 The Siemens was a quiet wee mouse compared to these babies, you can actually hear the hiss if you just hold the receiver up to your ear without sticking it down the lughole, even the spouse could hear it when I held it up to his. It’s a shame, cos the sound quality of the bits I actually want to hear is amazing, especially on soft sounds, much better than what I had before. If it didn’t sound like the shower running 24/7 in the background I’d be in heaven, although it’s truly amazing what the brain can learn to ignore after a couple of days.

      I’ll do what I was tellt and persevere for a couple of weeks so that the right ear can adjust itself to the novelty of hearing things again. If the hiss is still really annoying, I’ll go back to see what can be done, I was told there are ‘solutions’…

      Now as for waterproof hearing aids, those’ll go down a storm in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, it never stops bloomin raining here!

      • 5 Eloise March 8, 2012 at 12:49 am

        Firstly, it’s great you have 2 now! Though it’s a shame about the circuit noise.

        I have a pair of these aids only they are the TS version which I use as tinnitus maskers. My Siemens aids are my general hearing aids. It’s interesting that you are finding the circuit noise very very loud because it makes me wonder whether they have a sound generator program in your ones which has been activated somehow. (Or maybe my imagination is just going wild!!)

        My Siemens IMPACTS are very very quiet and I’ve never heard anything from them. My Danologic ones are intended to produce white noise so that’s no surprise to me when I look at mine and the noise they produce….

        I hope you can get to the bottom of the problem soon!! 🙂

      • 6 moiradancer March 8, 2012 at 10:11 pm

        I must say the same thing crossed my mind about the TS version, I think these aids are definitely working as tinnitus maskers for me at the moment! Mind you, I should count myself lucky that I can at least turn the din off. Despite the white noise issue, I’m delighted at the difference that 2 make, it’s like the difference between having one half of your stereo headphones on and both. The two are greater than the sum of their parts in terms of how you perceive the soundspace that you’re in.

        Now, if I could just eliminate that hiss!

      • 7 Rose March 8, 2012 at 9:36 am

        >>Now as for waterproof hearing aids, those’ll go down a storm in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, it never stops bloomin raining here!

        Now that may be the way forward, instead of babying the hearing aids in the rain, keep getting them wet and taking them in for moisture-related repairs and the NHS will get the clue that waterproof aids are a positive for them. No use just pointing out the benefits for patients, patients get in the way. Proudly wear those hearing aids in the rain!

      • 8 moiradancer March 8, 2012 at 10:18 pm

        Hee hee. Well, if we’ve got the Glasgow Hearing Aid Benefit Profile, we should have the Glasgow Waterproof Hearing Aid to go with it…could have done with it this morning!

  3. 9 Sara Paton March 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    Oooh, new Aids. So sorry about the background noise, I don’t think that’s normal. Here’s hoping the “solutions” are really that. 🙂 I have Phonaks and there is no background noise at all. Although I do find them “loud” because I can hear all the air blowing, etc that I can’t without them. Good luck!

    • 10 moiradancer March 7, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks for that Sara, good to have more confirmation that the hiss is not inevitable. Although I’m a complete woose, I don’t think the level of noise I’m experiencing would be acceptable to anyone with normal hearing in that range. Speech quality wise, I think these are great aids for the vast majority of NHS clients, who will have high frequency loss and won’t hear the hiss, but sadly I don’t think they’re going to work out for me. Ho hum!

  4. 11 Carl Green March 8, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Hooray!

    Welcome to Stereo sound…Moira 5.1 surround sound that’s what we shall call you! The hissing sound doesn’t sound too good 😦

    Get on their case for sure and be patient. It is a frustrating thing but remember that it CAN be fixed 🙂

    Just out of curiosity, are you still in an open fit? If so that might be the cause of your problems….the open fit is designed (as I was told) not for us cookie people but for (shhhh) the seniors who have high frequency loss.

    As for me…I am super happy with my wonderful Oticons! They are the bees knees 😀

    Gave my new ear molds a nice wash today and was quite proud of that! I like things that can be cleaned hehe

    So when you posting a pic of these fancy things? 😉

    • 12 Eloise March 8, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      Carl – I think you’re right in saying that open fit was designed for high frequency loss. It’s meant to give a very natural sound to that specific group of people.

      I have a flat loss so wasn’t getting the benefits of the open fit aids (plus playing violin and eating with the open fit has been driving me crazy!! Too much pressure or too much slipping out…)

      I can’t wait to pick up my new moulds on Monday though I’m nervous too. I will update on how they are next week! 🙂

      Really hope Moira gets her noise sorted. It must be driving her crazy!!!

    • 13 moiradancer March 8, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      I ended up not even mentioning the open fit for fear of introducing more variables into the inevitable troubleshooting equation. Moreover, for some reason I was stripped of my strapping 8mm domes and I’m now on the teensy weensy barely there pointy scratchy ones. Their purpose is a mystery to me. They waggle around freely inside my giant amazonian canals, tickling each ear hair root into a frenzy of itching the like of which I have never known. They’re also refusing to stay in there for more than 2 seconds (literally) and the tubes are standing about 1cm proud of the side of my head. It’s giving me a sort of wacko professor who’s let themself go look, and I don’t need any more of that, what with the bunion and the men’s hiking boots.

      To get me through the current pain barrier, I am taking vicarious pleasure in your Oticon happiness and hoping that one day soon, all that shall be mine. As for the pics, Carl…all in good time 😉

      • 14 Carl Green March 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm

        Moira,

        You might entertain the idea of suggesting custom made moulds to them. They are very comfortable. I have the full ear skeleton type. They are hard acrylic, to be honest I didn’t think they would be comfortable at all! But surprisingly they really are. No itchies to be seen anywhere.

        Sorry to hear about the teeny pointy things 😦 must not be nice. I shall send you good Oticon vibes and comfy mould ones too!

        Also, the moulds last for ages. No need to change them. For me, I can pop them off and give them a nice wash. Gets all the waxy stuff out 🙂

        Let us know what happens on follow up! 🙂

      • 15 moiradancer March 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

        I think I will eventually have to sort out the fit, pushing a single dome in every five minutes is a scoosh, but having to deal with two requires a little more dedication and two free hands at all times…I hadn’t considered that!

        You would hate these aids Carl. I got all excited because there’s a programme button AND, gasp, a volume switch. Unfortunately I can barely feel the buttons, let alone operate them, and I’d consider myself fairly dextrous. I gave the appearance of someone trying to pull their own ears off during an all day critique session with the students yesterday, as I attempted to get a little more volume on the class mumblers.

        I now understand, just a little too late, why hearing aid remotes are necessary. Sadly, my previously unused Siemens remote doesn’t work with the Danalogics…

  5. 16 Vickie Ramage March 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    That’s MINE! I’m desperately campaining for a new one as I hate them. I have 50% hearing and these are my first hearing aids but they just sound AWFUL. The mold is too big and digs in my ear. Please tell me, do I have any hope of getting better sound or is this the best I can expect? 😥

    • 17 Eloise March 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      I’ll tell you what… the Danologics really do work well as tinnitus maskers (white noise generators) but from what I’ve heard, not much else. I’m sorry to hear what you’re going through.

      As Moira says, it takes time. I’ve had mine for 4 months now and I’ve got quite a bit to sort out on them. Hopefully proper action will start being taken on Monday when I get my new moulds. I’ll also be asking about a hearing aid with volume control rather than the ones I have now without. (As a musician, it’s driving me crazy!!)

      I hope you can get something sorted soon. Best wishes!

      • 18 Vickie Ramage March 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm

        I’m determined to get something other than the damn danalogics. I feel as if I’m the Lost jungle half the time! They must have another option…

  6. 19 moiradancer March 10, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Hi Vickie,

    sorry to hear you’re going through hearing aid hell just now, when things aren’t right with the settings or the fit it can make you feel really fed up, especially when it’s your first aids and you have nothing to gauge it by. It’s something other people don’t understand unless they’ve been through it. With my first one I struggled on for about four months thinking that the horrible feedback and distortion problems I had were just the way hearing aids are. When it was reprogrammed properly, I couldn’t believe the difference, and was so relieved to finally get it sorted. As you’ll probably be able to tell, I’m pretty technically clueless about hearing aids, but if you have an aidable loss, with follow-ups you should be able to get a good result hearingwise, and get a mould that fits properly. It does take time to get used to aids, though. With my new aids, I don’t know if it’s the setup of the aids that’s wrong or whether it’s not really suitable for my loss because of my good high frequency hearing (I suspect the latter) and if this had been my first experience it would have really put me off. Don’t give up hope just yet…I’m assuming you’re NHS, how long have you had your aids and have they arranged a follow-up appointment for you?

    • 20 Vickie Ramage March 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      (Sorry for the life story) Well, I finally got them back in November 2010. This took a long time as I’d be to countless hearing tests from the age of about ten until I was 16. I gave up at sixteen as the hearing tests they gave me were telling me to move a coloured man around a board and when I didn’t press the button when there was apparently a sound, they’d repeat it over and over, clearly trying to get me to say I had heard it, until I just guessed and pressed it anyway! They’d then tell me I’d ”grow out of it’. I was told by a private hearing doctor type person that I should have had hearing aids since I was three. Which was a bit of shock. Skip to the hearing aids part, I got them and she didn’t tell me anything about them, I had to learn from the private doctor guy again that I needed to wear them just indoors for a while so my ears could get used to the sounds. They promised me a follow up appointment in 6 months and shoved me out the door. Unsurprisingly enough, after a couple fo days I’d had enough of the devices and stopped wearing them, and the follow up appointment never came. I had to arrange one myself in late 2011, and they told me they thought I was going for my hearing aids to be fixed and did nothing – it’s a two month wait for an appointment usually, so I was pretty annoyed by that. But this time I’m determined to get the right ones, even if I have to strangle the people! I’ve asked my doctor to make a new appointment, stating exactly what the problems are.

      P.S. I read that the Danalogic i-fit 71 has been made for people with tinnitus. Not sure if that affects the usefulness of the aid like…

      • 21 moiradancer March 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm

        That’s terrible Vickie, how frustrating for you. No wonder you’re feeling disillusioned. I have to say it’s no surprise to me at all that hearing aids get abandoned within days when people are given no support in getting started off with them, and have to wait 6 months for a follow up. That’s far too long if there are problems with the settings or the fit which make them unwearable. Even worse when the follow up never comes. The aftercare seems to be a luxury add-on in the NHS and is presumably the most expensive part of the whole fitting process, but without it, it’s just throwing money down the drain providing aids that people can’t get used to. Hearing aids are not an instant fix, but in the absence of support, they’re presented as if they are.

        My loss is pretty small, but even at that, I found hearing through an aid was a complete shock to the system at first. Fortunately I was told to build up wearing time slowly, so that’s really unfortunate that you weren’t. Inexcusable, really. There are loads of people on Hearing Aid Forum and the like who describe going to get their first set of aids at Costco with 95dB losses, popping them in their ears in a busy shopping mall and everything’s hunky dory, but they must have much stronger constitutions than me!

        My inclination at the moment is just to stop wearing these, but I’m going to give it a couple of weeks so that I can identify everything that’s not right in all the hearing situations that matter, and know that I’ve given my brain a chance to get used to them. I’m pretty busy at work just now, so that’s a good distraction from the annoying noise in the meantime. The upside is that underneath the hiss, the sound quality is much better than I had previously, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be happy as Larry when I’m eventually sorted. I do hope you get sorted soon, too and that your appointment comes quickly!

      • 22 Vickie Ramage March 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm

        I hope I get them sorted out too! I’d do anything to get rid of that hiss… if I ever get an appointment I’ll let you know what happens…. TBC… 😛

  7. 23 Carl Green March 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Ouch Vickie sounds horrible 😦

    It’s funny,,,they wouldn’t expect anyone to walk around with bad glasses would they? Hearing aids should be the same!

    • 24 Vickie Ramage March 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      You’d think! I believe the problem may be that the people that are giving me these rubbish aids have perfect hearing, so they have no idea what it’s like. Rest, assured, I’ll make them see!

  8. 25 Carl Green March 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    My Hearing Instrument Specialist is very cool. He has perfect hearing too. But, difference is, he TRIES all the hearing aids he sells. So he knows exactly what he’s doing. I like him a lot and he’s given me excellent hearing aids. Lets hope the NHS can catch up! (I’m in Canada) 🙂

  9. 26 babs scott March 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Moira, you will get used to the programme button and the volume control switch eventually. You’re right though, it does feel like you are all fingers and thumbs to begin with but I did manage to master this aspect of hearing aid wearing fairly quickly and can do both ears at the same time with two hands working independently now! I know what you mean about the sound though, because I too seem to be quite good in the high pitch range and I find that it gets picked up too well. Not so good when dealing with high pitched and squeaky kids for 6 hours a day; which is why I now prefer to lip read rather than hear what they are saying. I suppose I should arrange a visit to the PRI audiology department to have my tubes changed and for a re assessment as things are not getting any better. My hearing in busy social situations is totally shocking, as a result of which I am turning into a complete recluse as I can’t stand feeling so isolated in a room full of people. The acrylic moulds which Carl mentions do tend to stay in fairly well because they are made to fit your lug holes which sounds better than having to constantly adjust something springy. Best of luck in your quest to find a solution.

    Bxx

    • 27 moiradancer March 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      Good to know about the controls Babs. Those flippin pointy domes are making the inside of my ears really tender, and if I push anything the wrong way, ouch! I’ve also had the return of Norman Collier broken microphone syndrome, where the domes get pushed into the side of my capacious canals as they work their way in, out and round my ears, cutting the sound off. Sigh.

      You have my sympathies with the kids helium voices, if I hear a wean in a pushchair on the train warming up for a full-on monkey screech, I’m tempted to pull the emergency cord!

      Re rooms full of people, these days, the bizarre thing that’s afflicting me worse than not having a scooby what everyone’s talking about, is that no one can hear anything I say even when I feel I’m yelling. Maybe it’s cos I’m not hearing background noise as loudly as everyone else, and not raising my voice enough, but drives me mad. And everyone else…

  10. 28 Eloise March 12, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Off to get my new ear moulds this morning… quite nervous but excited about it! I’m also going to try and swap to slightly different aids with volume control on them – as a musician, that’s important to me!

    Wish me luck and I’ll give an update later!! 🙂

    • 29 Vickie Ramage March 12, 2012 at 11:42 am

      Good luck! Got my fingers and toes crossed for you. 😀

      • 30 Eloise March 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm

        Thanks! I am back now and a very very happy bunny! I got the moulds – clear hard acrylic in the skeleton style. And I got the Siemens IMPACT M aids. I would highly recommend anybody out there struggling to get adiquate care to fight for the care I get. My hospital at home was useless and caused me an added two years of suffering, blaming my ear problems on the tinnitus I have and giving me those Danalogics (only not set as hearing aids but white noise producers).

        Now, I am finally on track with getting them sorted! I am keeping my fingers crossed for you on your next parts of your journey!!!

      • 31 Vickie Ramage March 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm

        I think I have similar molds – really uncomfortable. Going to see if they’ll give me those soft rubbery plug things, as my delicate ears can’t take hard plastic! It seems NHS can be very difficult when it comes to hearing loss…

    • 32 Eloise March 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      I keep forgetting that I don’t actually have to push the tubes into my ears literally every two seconds now… so much better! Seriously, with the open fit I would sit there with my fingers in my ears to keep the tubes there just so that I could hear a bit more. Right now the world feels like its opening up to me….

      • 33 Carl Green March 12, 2012 at 2:25 pm

        Thats awesome! I felt that way too. I must say I do love my molds as well. I thought the hard plastic would be uncomfy but it really isn’t.

        Nice to hear Eloise!

        Moira, you are next! 😉

      • 34 moiradancer March 12, 2012 at 6:54 pm

        Eloise, that’s great that you’ve got your new moulds and a pair of Impacts, keep us posted on how they work out. Good to hear that your clinic is being so helpful, too, makes all the difference. Bet you can’t wait to get your violin out to give them a test run. btw, have you seen the Marshall Chasin Hear the Music site? He’s the music ‘n hearing aids guru, apparently.

        Carl, in your new role as Custom Mould Ambassador for the Northern Hemisphere, I see you are not going to rest until we all have suitably terminated tubes on our ear gear, so Vickie, we must rise to the challenge of obtaining the finest solutions the NHS has to offer. In the meantime, I’m going to do a bit of DIY hacking with some spare Siemens 8mm domes I bought on t’ internet for the Chroma S…let’s hope I don’t end up in ENT!

      • 35 Vickie Ramage March 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm

        Well, I’m pretty geared up and have everything in mind I want to ask – but no sign of an appointment arriving on my door mat yet! I just hope I don’t get the same person as last time – she had a really quiet voice(ironically enough) and couldn’t wait to get me out the door. I would have no chance of different aids with her, she’s a brick wall. *sharpens pitchfork*

      • 36 Eloise March 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

        Thanks, Moira and Carl. I am yet still to test the violin out!! I shall tomorrow when I get the first chance though! 😀 Oh, and I can successfully eat without regaining my deafness now too… 😉 I’m just about to have a look at the sites you recommended me as well.

        Vickie – Have you written everything you want to say down? I’m not sure whether you’re like me and go like a quiet little mouse hiding away during these things (it took guts today to ask to switch to the slightly bigger IMPACT M’s!!!), but if you are then definitely write them down. And it can always be a helpful reminder when you’re in the moment too.

        Do anything you can to get what you need if you’re really unhappy. Threaten to report people – ANYTHING – to get that damn peace of mind you’re after! It really will be worth it! Good luck 🙂

      • 37 Vickie Ramage March 12, 2012 at 8:09 pm

        I have social problems but when it comes to getting annoyed with people I will tell them exactly what the problems are and make them sort it if I have to strangle them. I have anger issues too!

        Really glad your hearing aids seem to be doing well! Gives me hope for the rest of us, haha!

        I’m on the hearing aid forum now, asked them what their thoughts were. So far I’ve had ‘It can take ages to get used to it’ – I can’t get used the that hissing, ‘no you cant’ – helpful and ‘you sound like a difficult customer and you haven’t tried to get used to them’ – well of course I haven’t, the mold is digging in my ear. XD

  11. 38 Rose March 12, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Okie dokie, I am going to pull from a zillion threads here till it makes your head whirl around in a “A noise of some kind came from somewhere on this planet, I wonder what it could possibly be and where it might have come from” kind of a way. Bear with me! It’s long because it’s a reply to lots of people.

    Fit the majority again, humph. We cookie-biters and reverse slopers are not right for the hearing aids they mass produce, and this idea of the NHS areas taking out a single contract with one supplier is ridiculous as of course they will cross-reference the cheapest with the one which encompasses the most fittings. Most people are not us.

    I don’t imagine that a closed fit would help with the hissing, it might even seal it in there even more effectively instead of letting it leak out a bit, but might be worth a try. Better than the standard “This is what you are getting, get used to it” answer. As some of you will remember I was left with a whining dying noise in my ear for 2 years by my local NHS torture service – I recommend crying and banging on your head screaming that you cannot take it any more. Seemed to do the trick for me, though not sure if that was because they finally took pity or started to have concerns for their own safety. Frankly I am not sure I care which! There were “no other hearing aids” because they were under pressure to work through a backlogue of old ones to clear the previous stock, so the fact there was a massive cupboard full of the ones I wanted didn’t sway them to provide me with them until I went visibly mad.

    Sadly each manufacturer makes domes to fit only their own type of tubing, and a dome which is a nice fit from one manufacturer can’t necessarily be replicated in a different one. The Siemens Powerdome fitted me nicely (the smallest one, I have children’s ears) but the Phonak sort are not at all to the taste of my micro-lugs. It may well be that there is not a correct size for the Danalogic, it may also be that they gave you what they happened to have, or it may be that they did the brilliant piece of NHS logic that I have yet to get my head around that although they have your ears all present and correct right in front of them, and have just spend some considerable time inspecting them, instead of noting the characteristics of your ears and working that that information, they hand you a size which “is the one which fits the majority of female ears”. I am lucky my daughter attends audiology also, as I can only get size 0 tubes from paediatrics, the adult department cannot seem to cope with my teeny tiny-ness. Yes, I’m a celebrity size zero… shame it’s my ears. The battery desk should be able to give you a larger dome, so long as they are not too stuck in their “have to give you what your book says” place, you shouldn’t have to wait for an appointment. Beware a dome which is uncomfortable, as the next step on that road is an ear which gives up the ghost and bleeds copiously, leaving you feeling as if you are going to need gas and air to have the dome removed. Don’t try to tolerate a sore dome/mould.

    >>>There are loads of people on Hearing Aid Forum and the like who describe going to get their first set of aids at Costco with 95dB losses, popping them in their ears in a busy shopping mall and everything’s hunky dory, but they must have much stronger constitutions than me!

    Interestingly, it’s probably not that, it’s more to do with the hearing loss experienced. I am not sure if you know that decibels are a logarithmic scale. While I am not mathematical enough to explain that, I do know that every 10dB is twice as loud as before. The difference between 10dB and 20dB is very small, the difference between 80dB and 90dB is massive. The standard program is to aid the loss at 1/3 of any sensorineural loss and ½ of any conductive loss. A third of 95dB is nowhere near as much of a leap as 1/3 of 40dB even though it’s a bigger number. There is also some element of the shape of a loss. You would think a hearing aid program would directly mirror the audiogram, where you have the most loss you have the most gain on your hearing aid. Not so, in fact the best place to aid is where you have a lot of *hearing* not a lot of loss. When you have some normal hearing that means you end up with some sounds aided to within spitting distance of your maximum tolerance. In profound losses the shape of the loss tends to be flatter and none of the hearing is aided to a normal range. They also tend to do more tests on severe and profound losses, not least the MCL and UCL tests – not ligaments in this case, but finding out how loud you need things to hear them comfortably and the maximum amount of noise you can physically bear. Both are essential to correct hearing aid programming, but default values are often used for people in mild and moderate zones.

    I am having the same problem with not being able to gauge the level of my own voice. I sometimes yell at people, I sometimes make noises they cannot hear. I am not winning that one yet!

    Vickie, you have lived my life. And my mum’s, my grandmother’s and now my daughter’s, though we are determined to push through to ensure she doesn’t have this experience. Either there is another condition of hearing which looks just like the standard childhood Glue Ear but isn’t differentiated by the current testing or else it is possible to suffer a severe and unrelenting Glue Ear. I was also supposed to grow out of my hearing loss, and my parents were looking for private provision when we finally met a teacher who had contacts at the audiology clinic who put me in for a hearing aid fitting, at last. Analogues were always a problem for me because there is such a gap between my best and worst hearing, but with the hearing aids came the help and the other equipment, and the acceptance that I was not making up nonsense nor having “selective hearing” I was actually having real in the ears deafness – they seem determined to demonstrate that children are making it for some reason. It seems to be 50/50 between different audiologists whether they go for the gradual build-up thing or the strap ‘em on and get used to them approach. In many cases I fear it’s to get out of the cost of using the acclimatisation process which is supposed to be built into the software via follow-up visits. You can wear them all day every day from day one with acclimatisation setting 1, building up to setting 4, but sticking it on a randomly chosen number and sending you away to get used to it doesn’t work. Sadly I was given the “wear them all the time” instruction when I first got mine, but the first thing I heard through NHS analogue hearing aids with no gain control was someone throwing a metal scaffolding pole 2 storeys down into a metal skip. OW! It was some considerable time before I wore those hearing aids again! I was never called in for any follow-up so I still had hearing aids with the big blue batteries when I left school. I could have been helped my advances in technology instead of regularly exchanging my batteries to make sure nobody found out I wasn’t wearing the hearing aids…

    • 39 Vickie Ramage March 12, 2012 at 11:53 am

      I think I got some of that! I’m very easily angered and already peeved at them, so woe betide anybody who tries to fob me off this time. Now, where’s that pitchfork…

    • 40 moiradancer March 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm

      Rose, thanks so much for that, really illuminating. You’ve clearly acquired your impressive knowledge of all this hearing aid stuff the hard way, so it’s very useful for others to learn from your experiences. Shame you’ve had to go through all that, though, to say the least.

      Can see the difficulty of having teensy weensy canals when being given off the shelf one size fits all domes. It really doesn’t take much at all to get a right sore ear, and you’ve not got much room for manouevre (literally) when you’re at the extreme end of the sizing. Fortunately my ear canals are the only bit of me that is a standard size, so hopefully I’ll be okay if they just try to match it a bit better!

      One of these days I’m going to get my head round the logarithmic nature of the decibel scale, I can never quite grasp it. When I finally do, I shall produce a diagram to illustrate it to those of an equally non-logarithmic disposition 😉 With these aids, I’m not getting any over amplification like the last time, so I’m pretty relieved about that bit. I was dreading another round of jumping out of my skin at people clanking their coffee mugs, etc, and it hasn’t materialised thank goodness.

      Your childhood ha initiation sounds bloomin awful, can’t imagine that analogues would have been much fun for a cookie biter even if they were properly fitted and followed up…that you didn’t get a follow up as a matter of routine is a shocker. Let’s hope that the cycle of failure can be broken with your daughter, and that you manage to get a more satisfactory outcome for her…

  12. 41 Carl Green March 12, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Are any of you on the hearing aid forums? That’s where I found my Hearing Instrument Specialist. I think there are some guys on there from the NHS, perhaps they can give you tips?

  13. 43 Eloise March 14, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Day three of the earmolds and new aids and I am loving them! The ears got a bit tired by the end of the day yesterday (though I had had them in for a total of 15 hours) but I am still surprised by the comfort of them! And nobody has even noticed them unless I point them our because they’re clear and the skeleton style is very aesthetically pleasing! 🙂

    • 44 moiradancer March 14, 2012 at 9:47 am

      Good to hear Eloise, hands-free hearing aids at last!

      • 45 Eloise March 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

        Indeed! And most importantly of all, of course, is the violin sounds amazing with them now. It just illustrates what I’ve been missing out on the past few years… no wonder when I look back to me first learning to play I was convinced there was more colour in the music. Now I can hear EVERYTHING… all the overtones… just everything! It’s amazing!

      • 46 moiradancer March 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm

        Fabdy dabdy! I blew the dust off the digital piano myself at the weekend, and was rather delighted at what I heard, the two aids make a huge difference, plus the sound quality of the Danalogics is very good compared to my old aid, which definitely did not like digital pianos.

        Those overtones definitely make all the difference to the thrill of playing an instrument…enjoy!

    • 47 Vickie Ramage March 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm

      That’s great to hear! 😀


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