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Hearing aids advice

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive October 2007: Hearing aids advice
By Jewlz on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 04:26 am:

i went to the dr and had a hearing test ran. The dr says i need not one but two hearing aids that i am moderately to severerly deaf in both ears now i sit here in shock with the prescription to order two. I know nothing about them. I'm forty five and have two hearin aids ... He thinks that its a hereditary. going for a brain MRI to see if anything there will explain this ... any advice will be welcomed ...

By Pamt on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 08:10 am:

First of all, who did the hearing test? You want to make sure a certified audiologist did the test, NOT a hearing aid company. An audiologist will have the initials CCC-A after their name. There are inherited types of hearing loss, esp in women your age. They are typically conductive losses and some can be surgically repaired. You need to find out if you have a conductive, sensorineural, or mixed loss and why. I seriously doubt that the MRI will be any help in determining the cause. Have you been exposed to a lot of loud noises? That could also be a factor.

If you can find out the answers to those questions I can help you more.

By Jewlz on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 11:13 am:

The Dr that did the test is a M.D.F.A.C.S. This is who my insurance made me go thru. Son works with a larger seperate group of Drs and asked around and say his bedside manners are not the best but he is the best in town for this. Hes not rude but short on conversation. I got more out of his nurse than him. I have the audiologist results in front of me and not sure what they say other than im more deaf than i thought i was ... A BTE with venting recommended for both sides. I have some more numbers but like i said i have no idea how to read them. thankyou for your help

By Pamt on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 01:58 pm:

MDFACS stands for "Medical Doctor, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons." Surgeons don't do hearing evals, so I am very perplexed as to why he would do the test. He himself did the test or was it an audiologist who worked with him? Was the doctor an ENT (ear/nose/throat doctor)? Audiologists frequently work in a practice with an ENT. Was it a hearing test where you had to listen to tones and raise you hand and also listen to and repeat words? Did they give you a copy of your audiogram which is a little chart with X and O indicating decibel and hertz levels of hearing (usually has 200-8000 Hz across the top and -10 to 110 dB along the left side)?

BTE means "behind the ear" hearing aid. You might want to check on why they didn't recommend an ITE (in the ear) aid instead.

See if you can find out the answers to the questions and I'll continue to offer some suggestions if I can. Keep in mind though, that I am not a trained audiologist, but I am happy to try to help you sort through and figure out why you need hearing aids and what it all means if I can.

By Sandysmom on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 03:19 pm:

OMGosh Pam! You are absolutely awesome! I have been reading this thread with complete interest because at some point in my life, I know I'll need this advice. I'm 37 and and I already have hearing loss. It will be good to know this in the future. Thx!

By Ginny~moderator on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 07:14 pm:

I agree with Pam. If the testing was not done by an audiologist working with an ENT, I would ask my primary for a referral to an ENT, or go to an ENT practice at the nearest hospital, and have a test done by an audiologist. And never, never, never, have the test done by a practice that also sells hearing aids. I would hope your insurance company will pay for a second opinion. Hearing aids are very expensive (and not covered by insurance), and insurance almost never covers them.

I agree that an MRI is probably a good thing to do, and can only add to the information needed before you make an expensive decision.

But, if you are having hearing loss, you do need to deal with it. My ex had progressive hearing loss and didn't do anything about it, and it was incredibly frustrating to me trying to communicate with him because so often he didn't hear me. When it finally became frustrating for him (long after we separated) he finally got tested and got hearing aids.

By Pamt on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 08:46 pm:

And never, never, never, have the test done by a practice that also sells hearing aids.

I would disagree with this one point. Many or most audiologists do also sell hearing aids. You don't want to go to a hearing aid company (like Beltone), but suggesting not going to an audiologist who also dispenses hearing aids is like saying, "don't go to an optometrist who sells glasses." You would actually want to buy hearing aids from an audiologist because they can help you over the years to make sure they are still working properly, clean or make adjustments in office for free that saves you having to mail them from the manufacturer, and consistent checking to make sure that the aids are still meeting your needs. That said, you are a consumer and you can feel free to compare prices of the same hearing aid between practices before buying. A lot of practices also offer coupons in the paper periodically or will be running a special on a particular brand.

By Ginny~moderator on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 09:31 pm:

OK, Pam - I bow to your obvious expertise and experience.

By Jewlz on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 01:35 pm:

editing the personal info out so it dont continue to appear online ...

By Jewlz on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 08:05 pm:

bumping for pamT ty pam

By Pamt on Thursday, October 11, 2007 - 10:48 pm:

Okay, first of all you aren't "deaf" at all and you aren't even severely hearing impaired. The left 50, right 45, frequency 250 (and so on down the list) means that you can hear at 50 decibels (dB--a level of loudness) in your left ear at 250 Hertz (Hz--a level of pitch/frequency) and 45 dB in your right ear at that frequency. 250 Hz is a low frequency and not really important for speech. However, 2000-6000 Hz frequencies are very important for hearing and understanding speech and you have a loss of 50-60 dB at those frequencies. This would be considered a moderate hearing loss. Hearing aids should help you incredibly and you will probably wonder how you managed without them. My MIL has a very similar loss and got hrg aids about 9 months ago. She loves the difference, but we all love it even more. She can now participate in a conversation. She's back!!

The R SRT 30 100% stands for right ear, speech reception threshold. This means you can detect speech at 30 dB with 100% accuracy. It doesn't mean that you can understand speech at that dB level, but that you can hear that it is happening. You can detect speech with 92% accuracy in your left ear at 25 dB.

MCL is "most comfortable listening level." So you hear best and most comfortable at 30 dB in your right ear and 35 dB in your left. The 22/25 means that when they said those words like "baseball, hotdog, etc." that you understood 22 out of 25 with your right ear and 20 of 25 with your left.

Impedance tests are tests of middle ear function and it just checks the pressure of the middle ear and makes sure your ear drum is functioning correctly. I can't remember "normal" numbers, but usually if you don't have tubes or fluid/ear infection, you get a nice normal curve.

Acoustic reflex is checking the ability of your ear to transmit the sound to your cochlea where the sound is then sent to the brain and interpreted. I am not sure what NT means, but NR means "no response" which means that your left ear (LE) had no acoustic reflex. This is why your doctor wants to do the MRI. Lack of acoustic reflex can mean many different things and he/she just wants to rule out some of them.

Just to give you some info for comparison, a person with "normal" hearing would hear at -10 to 20 dB across all frequencies. Since your hearing is 40-60 dB across all frequencies you have a moderate loss.

Everything sounds very well done. I would get the MRI and start looking into hearing aids. I would question the BTE versus the ITE issue though personally. BTE are less expensive and easier to handle, but they are also more obvious. Let me know if you have any other questions. You can also email me at pamela dot terrell (at)

By Jewlz on Friday, October 12, 2007 - 03:01 pm:

ty so much for all u said and puttin this into perspective for me ...You have made it easier to deal with. Had it been my kids or hubby would be easier for me to deal with. I still have a call in to find out the reason for the BTE reccomendation and the MRI people will call me back to schedule the appt. My son was impressed that u took the time to say all u did. As he read what you said and he replied mom who is this lady? Does she know you? See you have described me as far as my hearing really well. I can hear noise but if theres more than one person talkin or a tv and a conversation going on ... its hopeless and i just dont talk. My son says he will be glad to never hear the phrase dont walk away from me i cant hear you ... if they are behind me I cant understand them ...thats part of the lip reading ... I also see that I get lost in conversations and sorta agree with what ever is going on till i begin to reprosess again what is beign said. Yes I know not a good thing.
Thank you again for explaining this

By Dawnk777 on Friday, October 12, 2007 - 03:13 pm:

Jewlz, when kids talk to us, at school, in the lunchroom, they are always walking away, or turning to point at someone, etc. It's already so noisy in there and they have such little voices, it's nearly impossible to hear, unless they are talking to you, not away from you. I can relate to that.

By Pamt on Friday, October 12, 2007 - 05:06 pm:

Glad I could help! :)

By Ginny~moderator on Friday, October 12, 2007 - 07:41 pm:

Pam, you ROCK!

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