Do these go to 11?

the mighty chipolata2

The mighty chipolatas are turning out to be something of a sheep in wolf’s clothing, and it seems that I have nothing to fear on the hissing front from the new, improved Danalogic i-FIT. In addition, it has been an unexpected delight to discover that they pick up virtually no nerve shredding background noise at work, unlike the Oticons. Unfortunately, over time, this appears to be down to the fact that the Danalogics are transmitting hardly any sound to my cookiebite ears at all, except for a slight Sean Connery slushiness on ‘SH’ fricatives that I can happily live without. My subjective observation that there is a distinct lack of difference between aided and unaided ears is backed up by a massive increase in the number of times during the day when the spouse sighs deeply, rolls his eyes and says “Have you got your bloody hearing aids in” and those are just the times I know about because I’m actually looking at him.

On the upside, my worries about navigating a volume wheel with no default stop have been allayed by simply turning the wheel as far up as it will go at all times; I have been assured that it can’t snap off and there is virtually no audible difference between the minimum 1 and maximum 4 setting anyway. If I’d ever tried that with the surround sound Oticons, my employers would have been scraping bits of my head off the architecturally acclaimed double height concrete ceiling the first time a metal chair leg was scraped across the studio floor.

Disappointingly, on the leisure side, TV is once more inaudible at, or below, spouse discomfort threshold levels, and on the music programme the piano is distressingly distorted. I’ll report on the telecoil setting if I ever find a working loop anywhere.

I have a follow-up at the beginning of October but, for once, I’m not too eager to discover the outcome…

8 Responses to “Do these go to 11?”

  1. 1 BadBunnyEars August 30, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Sorry to read your new aids are not a great success.

    My present bugbear is new varifocals, which make my head spin doing medium distance things like sorting washing or filling dishwashers (no broken plates yet, but with the world suddenly curving alarmingly it’s likely to happen).

    Your welcome to try the loop in my living room, except for the £100+ train fare. (Daughter is Scotland bound, soon and I feel I’ve bought at least a train wheel).

    • 2 moiradancer August 31, 2015 at 6:21 pm

      It’s an ill wind that blows no good on the hearing aid upgrade front, at least I’ve discovered that I’ve found a solution to the amplified background noise problem at work, even if losing all the speech sounds is a little drastic. Hopefully they can be tweaked…

      Amazingly, my fourth set of trial multifocals seem to be doing the business, so I now won’t need to have a channel cut in the side of my head to make room for both the reading glasses and the mighty chipolatas.

      With your varifocals, think you have found the perfect excuse for not dealing with the dishwashing 😉

  2. 3 Andrea July 5, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    Hi – sadly I am also a cookie-bite girl in need of new hearing aids. Have you made any progress with your aids, or tried a new model that gave you a better result?

    • 4 moiradancer July 6, 2016 at 5:21 pm

      Hi Andrea, thanks for asking. At the follow-up appointment I was advised to change from a totally open fit to tulip domes which are semi closed. This was to give me a bit more of the lower frequencies and I was also told it was to reduce distortion caused by the aids working overtime to give me low frequencies with an open fit. They did what they claimed, but I have lost a noticeable amount of the precious high frequencies I was previously getting through the open fit. Fortunately I’ve still got enough to get by, but there are some situations where I can definitely hear a bit better with no aids at all. If it weren’t for the background noise issues at work I think I’d prefer an open fit, but with the tulip domes, I can turn the aids off on the train and block out other people’s annoyingly hissing headphones!

      I really ought to go back and get them adjusted a bit, but I can’t bear the potential hassle of coming out worse than I went in. Until you commented, I hadn’t even realised it’s nearly a year since I got them…that explains why the domes are falling apart in my ears this week 😉

      I have to say that I preferred the Oticons on both usability and sound, but I’ve got used to the Danalogics now, and counter-intuitively, less is definitely more in terms of amplification on the mid-frequencies for working in background noise. I think the success of aids (within reason) is definitely down to the skill of the fitting as much as (if not more) than the hardware and that’s the bit which can be difficult to access on the NHS for the cookiebiter. It’s not impossible, but just requires a bit of persistence and a lot more free time than I’ve got at the moment! Still, you’ve certainly prompted me to make an appointment for new tubes and domes, so I might ask about organising a tweak or two once I’ve got a bit more time.

      What aids have you got at the moment?

      • 5 Andrea July 7, 2016 at 10:32 am

        I am giving up my oticon Deltas which were ok if not great way back when i got them in 2009. I have never felt i got really great improvement in speech clarity from them and background noise was always an issue. I had moved to custom molds in 2012 and i think my ears changed shape because they started to hurt my ears. I had pretty much stopped wearing them the past year but im finding meetings hard at work, and missing things at home too. I am going to a new practitioner who gave me oticon alta pro2’s as a trial yesterday, but they just got the oticon Opn in and i have an appointment to try those next week. They sound promising but i agree about the fitting being really key, so I’ll have to hope that part goes well. Thanks for your quick response; its nice to have contact with someone who really understands!

      • 6 moiradancer July 7, 2016 at 11:18 am

        This fantastically long-winded, but informative, comment about the Delta from 2008 may explain some of the difficulties you’ve experienced in background noise (if it’s talking about the same model you’ve got, it might pre-date yours).

        The good news is that the technology has come on in leaps and bounds since then and, in my own case, there’s absolutely no comparison between the sound quality of my first set of NHS Siemens aids back in 2009 and the Danalogics I’ve currently got, which although not top of the range are pretty decent. I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised when you upgrade. Although I was mumping and moaning initially about the big decrease in sound which has resulted from lowering the gain in the mid-frequencies with the Danalogics, it’s made me realised that hearing more doesn’t necessarily equate to understanding more when it comes to speech and a cookie bite loss.

        Good luck with your trials and would love to hear how you get on.

  3. 7 Dawn July 29, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Hello in the past couple of weeks I have forced myself to see two separate Audiologists and both have said that I have moderate cookie bite hearing loss in both ears. I’ve struggled for a considerable period of time hearing speech clearly and have found ways to manage but it has started to impact on my behaviour in that I dread work meetings or social gatherings and often can’t participate in the way I used to be able to. An additional issue for me is I’m blind and so I don’t have the option to read lips and can’t always tell that people are addressing me. Since I have told a few people that I’m experiencing hearing loss they had admitted that they had thought I had got in to the habit of day dreaming which I haven’t I just didn’t realise I was being spoken to.

    I’ve really enjoyed reading the messages on this blog as I don’t know anyone with a hearing loss – other than my elderly father who has hearing aids that whistle so loud it’s enough to put you off completely trying aids. It’s quite comical he takes them out so he can hear me sometimes… I have been recommended two hearing aids. One is the Phonak audio v30 and the other the Starkey I1600. Both cost around £2500 and to be truthful as yet even with some internet research I can’t really work out the difference. I was wondering whether I should try to find an Audiologist who has a little more experience of this type of hearing loss as I gained the impression from the two I have seen that they know what it is but haven’t necessarily prescribed many hearing aids for this type of loss. Putting anything in my ears is foreign to me as I’ve always relied on my hearing to get around so it’s going to be a strange experience.

    • 8 moiradancer August 3, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      Hi Dawn, sorry for the delay in reply, I’ve been on my hols and out of Scottish island internet range!

      Can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you not having the option to read lips with this particular type of hearing loss, and also missing visual cues when people are addressing you out of the blue. The good news is that with a moderate loss, aids should make a real difference to your ease of understanding speech, particularly in meetings and social situations where there’s not an outrageous amount of background noise. Don’t be put off by your dad’s whistling aids, the feedback managing technology has come on in leaps and bounds even in the 6 years or so since I’ve been wearing aids, and I really have to go some to try to make my present NHS Danalogics whistle!

      If these are your first aids, it could be worth seeing what the NHS can offer you before you splash the cash. I would have thought that because you’re blind, you would be entitled to get the most appropriate aids for a cookie bite loss from the NHS catalogue. It’s also worth asking for a senior audiologist to program them, it really does make a difference. That way, if it doesn’t work out for you and you need to go private you’ve got something to compare with (and a spare set for emergencies). It can be a bit of a tedious old business getting what you need with hearing aid fittings, but it definitely is worth it in the end.

      Good luck with your quest, and would love to hear how you get on.

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