New Technology With Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss Tech

  Searching For Clarity With Hearing Loss Conversation for people with sensorineural hearing loss can feel like a never-ending game of hangman or charades. The clues are there, but the most critical letters (sounds) are missing, so you wind up playing an internal guessing game. We find ourselves replaying a frustrating loop of “guess the word.” Sometimes Gary can make a reasonably close guess if he understands the context of what I’m trying to say. More often it’s five wrong tries, and I’m forced to substitute a different word or entire sentence. In the past, modern hearing aids have done a fantastic job of increasing sound. Those with SNHL loss know louder is not the answer. When Gary’s audiologist told us about a new model of hearing aids with technology designed to help people who have a profound sensorineural hearing loss it was welcome news. The audiologist fitted Gary four

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The Frustration Of Hearing Aid Down

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If hearing aids are your lifeline to the world, you get what a pain it is when one goes down. When both go down at the same time, it’s a tragedy. If this happens to someone you care about, be prepared to step up. Frustration is the polite description of what is coming. Gary had complained his hearing aids didn’t seem to be working as well. We realized his hearing might have just gotten worse but thought since it had been eight months maybe they needed an adjustment. At his appointment, Gary explained some of the problems he had understanding speech, especially in crowded, noisy environments. His audiologist checked the levels and tried to fix a feedback issue one hearing aid was having but decided he should send it in for repairs.   The audiologist suggested taking impressions and switching to custom molded domes.   He finished adjusting the other aid

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Testing, Testing, Hope

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The Whirlwind Test Tour We’ve been doing the whirlwind testing tour with Gary’s many specialists these past few weeks. Not only was it time for his quarterly neurology follow-up but we found ourselves eagerly waiting for the first MRI and hearing tests since Gary began Ferriprox this past year. Our health insurance network is being changed from a PPO to a HMO next year, so we suffered few weeks of panic after we received notice from BCBS of Texas. HMO networks are not popular with doctors in our rural area. Seven specialists and one PCP currently provide care for Gary, and not one was in an HMO network. UPDATE: Every specialist but the neurologist joined the HMO network before the January deadline. First Stop Our first stop was the audiologist. Dr. Lee had mailed us a copy of a  magazine article this summer from one of her professional publications. It

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Whole New Ballgame: ReSound Linx²

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The two-week update on the ReSound Linx² hearing aids The question most asked, “Do you still like the new hearing aids?” Short answer, yes. But there are so many features we’ve just barely scratched the surface. Classified as Smart Hearing Aids, they can be set to work in tandem with your smartphone with an app you download. This app allows your phone to work as the control for both the preset and customized audio settings. 90% of the time close captioning is no longer needed when watching T.V., but since this is a case of  Sensorineural Hearing Loss, there are always problems with tones. Some voices are at a pitch that is just impossible to understand. The first two weeks sound levels were set at a 60% level. Our audiologist explained your brain needs time to process all the new sound. The first two days certain sounds were deafening with some distracting

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A Very Good Day

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 Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss Phantom smells and worsening hearing were the first inklings something was wrong. Our first ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist) decided the smell problems were the result of some past sinus infection. Gary’s hearing loss issues were probably environmental from his military service as a jet engine mechanic and simple aging. The doctor’s advice was to learn to live with it. Our next ENT was a two-hour drive from home. Dr. Garb was very personable and seemed genuinely interested. He ordered an audiogram so we could have a baseline level but still no answers. Today, of course, we know the diagnosis is Bilateral Sensorineural Hearing Loss. Hemosiderin is killing the function of Gary’s vestibulocochlear nerve (eighth cranial). This nerve handles sound transmission and equilibrium information moving between the brain and inner ear. The latest hearing test in December 2014 shows a decline to 30% functional hearing.  

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