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Tips on hearing aid purchase
#11
RE: Tips on hearing aid purchase
The audiologist I saw last week, we discussed hearing aids with tinnitus masker. She said that in the 30yrs she's been doing this, the tinnitus part has not improved and for the vast majority of her patients, it doesn't work and no one uses it.

The issue, she said, was to get the masker to match the tinnitus and fill in that gap. Tinnitus usually matches the hearing loss. The brain is missing that hertz so invents it. The masker tricks the brain into thinking the hearing is good. Regular hearing aids may or may not help with tinnitus. Depends on the person, the severity, but most important, the reason.

I wonder if a BT version with a white noise app playing on the phone would work? Hmmm.
PaulaO

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#12
RE: Tips on hearing aid purchase
Thanks, Paula, you’ve given me a talking point with the doctor.
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#13
RE: Tips on hearing aid purchase
I have worn a hearing aid since I was 35, I'm now 74 so I've been at this a long time. I am totally deaf in one ear and the remaining ear is not very good at all. A hearing aid gives me a chance to hear what is going on around me. I have never had insurance for my HA, so everything is out of pocket. Last year I was given the chance to wear a CROS style hearing aid which simply mimics being able to hear out of both ears. The CROS is not a brand of hearing aid, but simply a type. Each HA company has their own version of this style. Anyway, my advice would be to get the best style of aid you can afford and go with a reputable audiologist to fit your aids. Good Luck to you and I hope everything works out well.
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#14
RE: Tips on hearing aid purchase
Thanks, GrammBear, I appreciate you input. It’s always good to hear from long term users.
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#15
RE: Tips on hearing aid purchase
Ok, here’s a follow up on what happened today.

It looks like my concerns about using my insurance company’s hearing treatment management company were unfounded. Although their in-network clinic was an hour away, I was impressed with it. I think they referred me to a good clinic.

The hearing test went well. The audiologist is professional and organized. He gives clear and concise instructions and answers questions in a manner that is easy to understand. He seems knowledgeable  and up to date on the technology. It turns out I have moderate to severe hearing loss, in both ears, attributed to tone deafness as well as tinnitus.

I ended up choosing a Lynx Quattro 9-R RIC which is a digital, Bluetooth capable, rechargeable over the ear model. It was one of the models I ran across while researching what is available. It has good reviews from both users and providers. It is the most recent model with all of the bells and whistles including options for treating tinnitus. The audiologist advised me not too get to excited about the tinnitus option, however, he has the same opinion of it as PaulaO2’s audiologist. It does have a white noise option through the phone app to help cover up the tinnitus. We will see how it works. 

By the time insurance discounted the charges and the gave me a discount for using the management company, the price worked out to about what I would have paid at Costco.

My hearing aids will be ready in 7 to 10 days. After the initial fitting and setup there will be follow up appointments at 1 week, 1 month and 1 year to resolve any problems and do maintenance and cleaning, at no additional charge. There is also a 60 day satisfaction guarantee which allows me to return the hearing aids, no questions asked.

So far it has been a much better experience than I expected. I just hope the rest of the experience follows suit.
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#16
RE: Tips on hearing aid purchase
Glad to hear about your progress.

Funny the Lynx Quattro was a hearing aid I just was researching in the past 24 hours. Please update after a bit of usage and thanks.
Dave

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#17
RE: Tips on hearing aid purchase
I got an aid (one ear only) after seeing an audiologist about tinnitus. Today was my 6 mo hearing aid checkup and adjustment.

I do have some moderate to severe high frequency losses in my left ear. Your brain tries to make up for the missing frequencies by generating its own sounds and that's tinnitus.

The aid will amplify the missing freqs. In some cases, you lose those frequencies completely so adding them with an aid still won't do you any good. In those cases, the aids can be programmed to hear those freqs and adjust them up or down a little bit into a frequency range you can still hear. In my case, I hadn't completely lost those freqs but I did need some help.

Tinnitus is permanent, but there are some therapies than can retrain your brain to ignore the sounds. I'm not sure how well that works. From what I was told by my audiologist, the resident tinnitus expert, adding a hearing aid can sometimes help a lot. In my case it did. Because the aid was adding the freqs I was having trouble hearing, the new sounds pretty much cover the ringing to where I rarely notice it any more. My app does have some tinnitus masking sounds, some are white noise and some are nature sounds like water on a beach or birds. They are kind of a peaceful way to relax a bit.

Hopefully your aids will help your tinnitus like mine did, just by helping you hear missing sounds again.

Smartphone apps are handy for making adjustments to the aid, but check on those adjustments. Some aids, like mine, store app changes only temporarily. If you cycle power to the aids, it's gone. That means you need to keep your phone handy. If you do find a setting that you really do like, your audiologist can probably add a permanent setting for you. I use my cell phone app once in a while, but it isn't really as convenient as I thought it would be.

One thing you can do, at least with an iPhone and compatible aids, is to set your phone to use the aids as external speakers. Your phone can ring in your ears and you can use the phone as a speaker-phone using the aids, and you can stream music and other audio. It's pretty handy. If you do get receiver in the canal (RIC) aids, you can still use earbuds for music, they'll sound better than the aids. The iPhone has a setting called "Live Listen". When enabled, the phone acts as a microphone and streams to your aids - it's meant to be used in a situation where you have trouble hearing a speaker in a busy environment. You can enable that mode, set the phone up front, and have it stream to your aids. I've never used it for real, but it does work.

You'll need a few weeks, but once you get used to them, you'll wonder why you waited so long. And do play around with all the functions of the phone app, you might find some nice surprises.
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#18
RE: Tips on hearing aid purchase
(10-29-2019, 05:11 PM)MitchS Wrote: Ok, here’s a follow up on what happened today.

It looks like my concerns about using my insurance company’s hearing treatment management company were unfounded. Although their in-network clinic was an hour away, I was impressed with it. I think they referred me to a good clinic.

The hearing test went well. The audiologist is professional and organized. He gives clear and concise instructions and answers questions in a manner that is easy to understand. He seems knowledgeable  and up to date on the technology. It turns out I have moderate to severe hearing loss, in both ears, attributed to tone deafness as well as tinnitus.

I ended up choosing a Lynx Quattro 9-R RIC which is a digital, Bluetooth capable, rechargeable over the ear model. It was one of the models I ran across while researching what is available. It has good reviews from both users and providers. It is the most recent model with all of the bells and whistles including options for treating tinnitus. The audiologist advised me not too get to excited about the tinnitus option, however, he has the same opinion of it as PaulaO2’s audiologist. It does have a white noise option through the phone app to help cover up the tinnitus. We will see how it works. 

By the time insurance discounted the charges and the gave me a discount for using the management company, the price worked out to about what I would have paid at Costco.

My hearing aids will be ready in 7 to 10 days. After the initial fitting and setup there will be follow up appointments at 1 week, 1 month and 1 year to resolve any problems and do maintenance and cleaning, at no additional charge. There is also a 60 day satisfaction guarantee which allows me to return the hearing aids, no questions asked.

So far it has been a much better experience than I expected. I just hope the rest of the experience follows suit.

Great follow-up. It's nice Apnea Board can serve more interests than just sleep disordered breathing, but you did your homework and figured out what is  important to you as a hearing aid buyer and user.  Well done! I think your insurance is a game-changer in this case and caps the costs of your hearing aids and care. Without that discount, you might need a different solution. We can't always get what we want... Glad you got what you need.
Sleeprider
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#19
RE: Tips on hearing aid purchase
(10-29-2019, 07:25 PM)SarcasticDave94 Wrote: Glad to hear about your progress.

Funny the Lynx Quattro was a hearing aid I just was researching in the past 24 hours. Please update after a bit of usage and thanks.

Thanks, Dave. I will be sure to update on how things work out. 

Keep in mind Sleeprider’s suggestion of Costco. They do have some very good prices. I have heard, however, there can be a difference in the equipment, setup and other issues that can come up. I saw several posts stating that while you are buying a name brand device, their hearing  aids don’t always have all the features the same brand and model purchased elsewhere may have, so it would probably pay off to compare them carefully. Their products are also usually locked so that you will have to take them back to a Costco if there is a problem down the road, which may or may not be an issue to you. Last, I saw several reports that, like the vision centers at Walmart, the quality of the customer service and device setup can vary a great deal at different locations. As always, research before you decide. You may find exactly what you want there.

(10-29-2019, 07:58 PM)KSMatthew Wrote: I got an aid (one ear only) after seeing an audiologist about tinnitus.  Today was my 6 mo hearing aid checkup and adjustment.

I do have some moderate to severe high frequency losses in my left ear.  Your brain tries to make up for the missing frequencies by generating its own sounds and that's tinnitus.

The aid will amplify the missing freqs.  In some cases, you lose those frequencies completely so adding them with an aid still won't do you any good.  In those cases, the aids can be programmed to hear those freqs and adjust them up or down a little bit into a frequency range you can still hear.  In my case, I hadn't completely lost those freqs but I did need some help.

Tinnitus is permanent, but there are some therapies than can retrain your brain to ignore the sounds.  I'm not sure how well that works.  From what I was told by my audiologist, the resident tinnitus expert, adding a hearing aid can sometimes help a lot.  In my case it did.  Because the aid was adding the freqs I was having trouble hearing, the new sounds pretty much cover the ringing to where I rarely notice it any more.  My app does have some tinnitus masking sounds, some are white noise and some are nature sounds like water on a beach or birds.  They are kind of a peaceful way to relax a bit.

Hopefully your aids will help your tinnitus like mine did, just by helping you hear missing sounds again.

Smartphone apps are handy for making adjustments to the aid, but check on those adjustments.  Some aids, like mine, store app changes only temporarily.  If you cycle power to the aids, it's gone.  That means you need to keep your phone handy.  If you do find a setting that you really do like, your audiologist can probably add a permanent setting for you.  I use my cell phone app once in a while, but it isn't really as convenient as I thought it would be.

One thing you can do, at least with an iPhone and compatible aids, is to set your phone to use the aids as external speakers.  Your phone can ring in your ears and you can use the phone as a speaker-phone using the aids, and you can stream music and other audio.  It's pretty handy.  If you do get receiver in the canal (RIC) aids, you can still use earbuds for music, they'll sound better than the aids.  The iPhone has a setting called "Live Listen".  When enabled, the phone acts as a microphone and streams to your aids - it's meant to be used in a situation where you have trouble hearing a speaker in a busy environment.  You can enable that mode, set the phone up front, and have it stream to your aids.  I've never used it for real,  but it does work.

You'll need a few weeks, but once you get used to them, you'll wonder why you waited so long.  And do play around with all the functions of the phone app, you might find some nice surprises.

Your descriptions on the causes, effects and treatment of tinnitus are exactly as my audiologist described them. He plans on adding the frequencies that I am missing, which was several in the range affecting speech recognition, and doing the frequency shift where that doesn’t work. Keeping my fingers crossed. They also come with an impact filter he is going to set up. It is supposed to dampen sudden, loud noises, so they don’t become annoying.

I’ve already downloaded the app. It will store custom settings as favorite modes in the app, so they are easier to access. I haven’t been able to determine whether the hearing aids will retain them on power off or not. 

The Live Listen setting may work out good for me. I am a safety rep for two crews where I work. Not only do I attend monthly safety committee meetings, I also have to attend safety conferences and routine safety training relating to the ever-changing OSHA requirements several times a year. It has been interesting experience understanding what is being said in those groups for the last few years.

(10-29-2019, 08:23 PM)Sleeprider Wrote: [quote pid='317039' dateline='1572387094']
Great follow-up. Its nice Apnea Board can serve more interests than just sleep disordered breathing, but you did your homework and figured out what is  important to you as a hearing aid buyer and user.  Well done!  I think your insurance is a game-changer in this case and caps the costs of your hearing aids and care.  Without that discount,  you might need a different solution. We can't always get what we want... Glad you got what you need.

It is amazing the amount of experience, quality and range of knowledge the members of this forum have.

I just used the procedures if seen you and other members suggest on researching and purchasing medical equipment. I have you guys and the people who shared their experiences with purchasing hearing aids to thank for the good outcome.

The insurance did make a difference. This experience has changed my outlook on third party treatment management. In this case they really were advocating for the best results, not only for the insurance company, but for me as well. Their price controls saved both parties a lot of money.



Are TV streaming devices worth while or do the hearing aids do a goo job by themselves.
[/quote]
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Advisory Members serve as an "Advisory Committee" to help shape Apnea Board's rules & policies. Membership in the Advisory Members group does not imply medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
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#20
RE: Tips on hearing aid purchase
This is VERY useful to this future HA user, thank you, posters above!!
(digging through my health coverage booklets..)

One detail: are the smartphone HA apps running equally well on Android as well as iOS?
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