Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Hearing Aids and Consumer Review

I have sent for and received the 2015 Consumer’s Guide to Hearing Aids put out by Connect Hearing. It states it is a third party source of hearing aid comparisons, but there is, I think, a company behind this magazine that does have a vested interest in supplying hearing aids.

However, I enjoyed the honesty of the descriptors around the success of hearing aids in certain situations. It describes how hearing aids ‘may help you to hear better in some noisy situations.’  It also states that ‘hearing aids will not restore your hearing to normal.

Both of which we who wear them already know, but it is nice to have it confirmed – especially if your hearing aid provider seems to imply that your hearing aids should help in all circumstances.

It also states that with a more severe hearing loss, the ability of the hearing aid to correct hearing will be more limited than with a mild loss, especially in noisy environments. Again, this is no news to us who have struggled in noisy environments for years.

Here is the link if you are interested in acquiring a copy:

Getting used to new hearing aids is not simple is it? It takes weeks, months even. And many visits back to the provider to adjust them until they are right. They can sound harsh, tinny, echo-y, or sharp and painful to the ears – all of which can be adjusted to some extent. I have gone to talk about these issues and many more in my booklet – which will be out in September!

How long did it take you to get used to your hearing aids? And are they good in a noisy environment? I’d love to hear about your experiences.


  1. Thanks for this info Pamela. I know this post is mainly directed at those with hearing aids, but I think it also helps the rest of us to have more understanding for family and friends who struggle with hearing loss. Looking forward to the booklet coming out.

    1. Thanks Nola. I really hope it will give both parties helpful information - effective communication is a two-way street. We sometimes forget that. :)

  2. My provider took an interesting tack when I first got mine. She set them up for correct equaliser profile and amplification, then turned them down 10dB & told me to come back in two weeks. Even so, the noise outside walking home was "deafening". Birds screeching all over the place. I didn't know they do that. The next visit she checked my usage stats (high because I quickly got used to the new noise level & soft ear pieces) and turned them up 3dB. The same again the next visit 2 weeks later. Finally, 6 weeks after I started using them, she turned them up to full corrected power.
    It was another year before we settled on a manual program plan which suits my needs (full, -6dB, -12dB, T-switch). Tried an auto adapt program but didn't like it.

    1. What a great provider! The worst thing when first getting hearing aids is the noise level - like being in a full scale battle zone! Turning them up slowly like that is much more tolerable for new wearers. (and 'old' wearers who are up-grading to a stronger set of aids).
      It does take about 6 weeks of a lot of wear to get used to them - much longer if you only wear them sometimes.
      And I also found that it took a while to work out which programs really suited too - this is so individual, depending on how you live and what you do. I changed mine after a few months as it just wasn't working - full volume; noisy environment one; T-switch and one for music - though this last one wasn't very successful.
      Very interesting that you didn't like the automatic program - I haven't met anyone yet who actually does!
      Is there anyone out there who likes their auto-adjust program?