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Thread: New Here...

  1. #11

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    Huh? These are your first aids and they don't sound perfect on day one! The guy did a ton of explaining but you weren't impressed. Why don't you relax keep a detailed journal with both the good and bad scenarios. There are a few very long ks7 threads on here might be worth reading through. How are you changing programs and volume on ear rockers? remote? smart connect? App? My suggestion would be to leave them in the default program for the first few weeks and learn to use the volume button.

  2. #12

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    Pepper2013, welcome to the forum! There is a TON of experience and advice here to help you adjust to the new "ears". Congrats on the new aids ... BUT! You have already raised a few big red flags with your posts here.

    1.) Travel time to Costco is simply unworkable in the long run. Even if you keep a journal of all the issues you're having, what are the odds you'll get back to Billings while the weather's good? What about future emergencies or service req's? It's going to be BIG challenge. Are there no audiologists closer to you? Maybe post your location and ask the forum here for recommendations - or try your state board of hearing specialists?

    2.) Sound quality of your K7s is AWFUL when playing instruments. Since this is an important pastime for you, the situation is less than ideal. How are the aids in other settings: the home, noisy restaurant, on the phone? If you have more than one area of poor listening experience, these aids are not tuned for you. Typically, a new purchase of aids requires a half dozen follow-on visits to straighten out the tuning & program set-up. Start by writing down what program covers what use, so you can refer to that until you memorize it (e.g., Program 1 = default, Program 2 = noisy restaurant, Program 3 = music, etc.,). Aids are programmed using the audiogram from your hearing test - that is likely on file at Costco, if they did the test. By NO means does that audiogram result in a perfect setup for the aids, tho! At the minimum you'll need to get back to Billings and collar that audiologist for some quality time, given your travel distance. Is this sustainable?

    3.) The aids make your ears itch like crazy. Uh-oh, big time! I have been that route, and can tell you, if the aids make your ears itch THIS soon, you will head down the road to inflammation and possible otitis infection in no time. NO anti-itch cream is a substitute for a proper material used. It could be that you are allergic to the materials in this aid (not sure if they are behind-the-ear or hard case in the ear). This problem will not resolve on its own - neither will poor fit and rubbing or irritation of any kind.

    4.) Audiologist at Costco has poor attitude and seems unwilling to really work with you till your comfortable, enjoying the aids and SATISFIED.

    When you add all these up, my mind screams: RETURN BEFORE TRIAL EXPIRES! No kidding, you can save a bundle of dough getting aids at Costco, but at what total cost? The aids sound like they have not been set up to your listening preference, the sound quality is harsh and unnatural, they are uncomfortable to wear, and you still paid money for them. Nope. Not a good deal.

    Please don't be discouraged, cuz attending to hearing is PRIORITY #1. But put your needs & preferences first, also the practicality of having a medical device that you rely on but which also needs occasional servicing, replacement & repair. Let us know what you end up doing - bit of a clliffhanger here ...


    Quote Originally Posted by Pepper2013 View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions. My hearing aids are Kirkland 7.0. I don't know what my audiogram is. All they said was that I couldn't hear the higher frequencies well (like some women and children). Maybe I'll just have to not use the hearing aids when playing my guitar and banjo and maybe not in the vehicle also... Just have to mess around and see what works best.

    One other thing: The Hearing Aids make my ears itch like crazy. I tried a bit of anti-itch cream, but after a while it wears off and they start itching again. Has anyone else had this problem?
    HAs from 1985>Starkey>Phonak>Epoq>AGXO ITE>Oticon Alta Pro ITE>Oticon Opn miniRITE

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  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepper2013 View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions. My hearing aids are Kirkland 7.0. I don't know what my audiogram is. All they said was that I couldn't hear the higher frequencies well (like some women and children). Maybe I'll just have to not use the hearing aids when playing my guitar and banjo and maybe not in the vehicle also... Just have to mess around and see what works best.

    One other thing: The Hearing Aids make my ears itch like crazy. I tried a bit of anti-itch cream, but after a while it wears off and they start itching again. Has anyone else had this problem?
    Without seeing your audiogram, it's hard to say whether you should play instruments with or without the HAs.

    When I had my new RIC HAs on, the domes made my ears itch, too. But it wasn't a severe issue and I got used to it over time. So unless you do have a real allergy issue to the silicon dome, give it some time for your skin to adjust to the silicone material.

    You said you're a learn-by-doing-it kind of guy. I think the Costco HIS probably already knew you were from far away so he probably tried to give you as much information as he could in the limited time for your fitting. It's not ideal to overload you with information, but on the other hand, it's not his fault that you could only get that one visit with him until a long while later. So it's hard to blame him for not being effective given the severe time restriction that he had with you, knowing that you won't be able to make frequent subsequent revisits. With other patients, he could just say "OK, go give it a try and I'll see you next week if you have more questions", but obviously he can't say that to you. So I think he probably deserves some benefit of the doubt here.
    Last edited by Volusiano; 03-03-2017 at 08:34 PM.
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

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  4. #14

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    It certainly wasn't Costco's or the AuD's fault that you decided to buy from them knowing you would have a long drive. The AuD evidently tried giving you as much information as he could. Have you read the user guide? Can you call or email him with questions? Again without an audiogram maybe you are better off playing without them. IMO expecting them to sound perfect when you are a first time user without giving them at least a few weeks is silly. Expecting domes to not be annoying at first is also silly. I fly into Billing the Wed after Labor Day and run around at least a couple of weeks so I know its a long way to anywhere. Next time you go make an appt for a Thursday and Saturday and spend a couple of days.

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    As a musician you may find this website of interest: https://www.musicianswithhearingloss...r-association/
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    Thanks for all the input. I appreciate it. I'll continue wearing them, but the distance problem is probably going to be a deal breaker. I wasn't aware that a person would possibly need to go back several times for adjustments, etc. I wish the folks at Costco had made this clear before I made the appointment for the hearing test. Such is life. I don't know if the staff is new to Montana or not, but I've found that most people not familiar with the logistics here don't really comprehend what is involved with getting from one place to another. Most travel for us is on two lane highways and it's a long ways to most places. We're used to it and don't think about it all that much, but 450 miles multiple times is a bit much.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepper2013 View Post
    Thanks for all the input. I appreciate it. I'll continue wearing them, but the distance problem is probably going to be a deal breaker. I wasn't aware that a person would possibly need to go back several times for adjustments, etc. I wish the folks at Costco had made this clear before I made the appointment for the hearing test. Such is life. I don't know if the staff is new to Montana or not, but I've found that most people not familiar with the logistics here don't really comprehend what is involved with getting from one place to another. Most travel for us is on two lane highways and it's a long ways to most places. We're used to it and don't think about it all that much, but 450 miles multiple times is a bit much.
    I think given what you've found out now, and that Costco has a 180 day trial policy (I just assume it's the same everywhere in the US but I may be wrong), I'd say keep using it for most of the trial period so you get used to it and know what you want to change.

    If after a couple of months and you still don't like it because you think you need more adjustments but you can't keep traveling each time to Costco, all is not lost. Just go the online route and buy a second pair from BuyHear.com or somebody like that and get all the adjustment you need remotely online from the comfort of your home. You can then decide whether you want to keep the online HAs or the Costco HAs. If you decide to keep the online HAs, then just arrange for another trip to Costco within 6 months before the trial period is over to return it. Or maybe even just call them and ask if you can return it in the mail instead of having to return it in person to save you a trip.

    But I wouldn't rush to return the Costco HA right away even if you can return it by mail. Even if you decide to go the online route, it'd be nice to have both the KS7 and the online HAs around at the same time to do A to B comparison.

    Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky and may not need further adjustments for the Costco HAs but just need a couple of months to get used to it.
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

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  8. #18

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    I totally *second* Volusiano's advice to keep TWO brands of HAs on-hand till you decide which of the two works best for you. It sure seems like the BuyHear.com aids are just as good a deal as Costco! So get in touch with them asap to have them program a comparable, affordable pair of aids for you to "test drive".

    I am extremely lucky having an aud-guy only 40 min from me who lets me try out 2-3 aids before I make a final purchase decision. Funny, how the ones he recommends have always been the ones I've ended up with. He knows what brands work for my loss and listening preferences better than I do - even tho I do my research beforehand and think "XYZ" brand will be ideal for me!

    You'll feel better about your investment and final outcome if you can compare at least two brands side-by-side! Granted, buying HAs is not like test-driving several cars to your heart's desire, but if you can get the BuyHear.com aids set up according to your audiogram on file at Costco, it would be very interesting to see which aids perform the best for YOU. Maybe the BuyHear.com aids won't itch! That would be an improvement right there.

    Definitely keep us posted here - I wish you all the best, given the travel-time challenges - to find a pair of aids you can live with.
    HAs from 1985>Starkey>Phonak>Epoq>AGXO ITE>Oticon Alta Pro ITE>Oticon Opn miniRITE

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    Thanks again to all who have taken the time to respond. I realize that it is going to take some time to get used to hearing aids....the folks at Costco certainly emphasized that. Right now my biggest concern (in addition to the distance to Costco) is playing my guitar and banjo (and singing). From what I've read so far, finding an adjustment that works is going to be a challenge with digital hearing aids. Us "Pickers" are very particular about how our instruments sound. We spend a lot of time, tweaking, and money to get the "right" sound out of our instruments. So, when I pick up one of my guitars that I paid several thousand dollar for and it suddenly sounds like $49 pawn shop special, you can imagine how disheartening that can be. Then when I sing, in my head it seems like I sound like Alvin (one of the Disney chipmunks)... I'll probably just have to take the hearing aids out when I play, which will be a hassle as I play several times a day.

    I'm sure I can get used to things sounding tinny and raspy. I don't really need to hear the rustling of paper, every little air leak and rattle in my car, etc... I just needed to understand conversations better in a crowd and the words on tv.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pepper2013 View Post
    I'm sure I can get used to things sounding tinny and raspy. I don't really need to hear the rustling of paper, every little air leak and rattle in my car, etc... I just needed to understand conversations better in a crowd and the words on tv.
    Sometimes I actually feel relieved and decompressed after I take out my HAs, because everything is much more quieter and I can relax and think better. But you also don't want to put on the HAs only when you need to hear conversation or watch TV either, because you need to train your brain to feel at ease with all the sounds around you, even if you don't care to hear them. Otherwise you may never get to adapt to them at all, because you'll be psychologically creating a negative barrier that turns you off to wearing HAs. There are plenty of folks who buy HAs then hate them and just put them in the drawer and seldom wear them.

    If being able to hear your guitar well is important to you, you should invest more time to learn about various HAs and find out which ones have the ability to handle live music well. Usually the place to look is on the input side, to make sure that their input mics has the proper spec to be able to handle a wide dynamic range to minimize doing too much compression that can ruin the quality of the music, since live music usually has a lot of sharp attach points and transients that if compressed too much will sound muted and dull. The dynamics of the live music can also cause excessive compression pumping effect if the headroom is not high enough. You'll probably want input dynamic in the range of 114 dB SPL, and preferably 24 bit processing at the minimum. These kinds of spec may be hard to find except in the higher end premium HAs. You shouldn't assume that you can just buy any kind of HAs and expect that they can handle live music listening well.

    As for occlusion that make your singing sound like a chipmunk, this really depends on the level of your hearing loss, and how much venting in the dome or mold that your hearing loss can afford to have. Since you never share your audiogram yet, we have no idea whether your hearing loss can be set up with open dome and vents to minimize occlusion or not.
    HA wearer since the 1990's > Rexton Insite+ CIC (2011-2016) > Oticon OPN RITE (2016)

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