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Audiologist confuse me - Which Aid for me?

Brad Whitney whitneyb at erols.com
Wed Aug 20 09:35:03 EST 1997

I am confused about new hearing aids after receiving conflicting 
opinions from audiologists and I hope some of you can help me sort
through these varied opinions.  
Dear All,

Several months ago I broke my 5yr old Argosy three band hearing aid 
(that I only wore intermittently anyway) and after a few hints from 
friends and family, and a marked increase in Tinnitus in my left ear,
I decided to get an exam and updated audiogram from my ENT.

I was pleased to hear this exam showed little change from my last
exam 5 years ago and an aid with high frequency boost would help.  

The staff audiologist explained significant improvements have been
made in Hearing Aid technology and I my complaints about aids
have been addressed (turn volume up enough to help soft sounds, then
loud sounds hurt).  He highly recommended the Widex Senso CIC as the
best (and only) aid for my loss.  I was shocked at the price.

As a prudent consumer I called two audiologists in the phone book
and explained I had just had an exam by an ENT and his staff 
audiologist recommended this expensive aid and I was wondering if 
another aid from a competing vender was better.

These two other opinions:

1) both stated stay away from the fully digital (Senso and Digi-Focus)
   aids as they are very expensive and are of little additional help 
   over other aids. I have also seen some postings in this 
   support group to this effect. 

2) Audiologist B said I would be best helped by a conventional analog CIC aid 
   with a K-Amp circuit.

3) Audiologist C said a K-Amp was definitly not the circuit for
   my type of loss and highly recommended a ReSound Premium IC4 or
   Encore IE4.  He also said stay away from the CIC because it
   would totally block my canal and as I have normal hearing up to
   2000Hz a canal aid with a vent would allow some natural hearing.
   I also drive over small mountains daily to and from work and
   I am concerned about pressure with a CIC.

What do you think??   Does every audiologist try to fit you with their
stock aid?  How do I identify a good solution soultion for me,
let alone the best solution, with such widely varied opinions??

These aids are very expensive and will put a big dent in my finances
but I will gladly pay the price for a proper solution, if I can
gain some confidence in a solution.

Below is my audiogram for those who might be interested.

(45 yr old male, electrical engineer with lots of meetings)

	125	500	1000	2000	4000	8000

	 |       |        |       O       |       |       
	 |       |   X    |       X       O       |       
	 |       |        X   X   |       |       |       
	 |       |        |       |       |       |       
	 |       |        |       |   X   |       |       
	 |       |        |       |       |       |        
         |       |        |       |       |   X   X        
         |       |        |       |       |       |         

Thank you for any input you might care to offer.

Brad H. Whitney,
whitneyb at erols.com


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