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Ms. Ears Questions and Answers

Questions about Hearing Aids from real people and answered by real audiologists.

QUESTION: Can you tell me about wireless CROS hearing aids?

ANSWER: CROS (Contralateral Routing Of Signals) hearing aids can be built in a number of configurations. Behind-the-ear (BTE) and In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids can be wired together to allow the sound signal from one side of the head to be routed to the opposite side. Widex makes a wireless CROS hearing aid that uses a BTE hearing aid to send the signal and a BTE or ITE hearing aid to receive the signal. I understand that a FM signal is used to send the information to the other hearing aid. A CROS hearing aid is recommended when the hearing in one ear is very poor and a regular hearing aid will not provide clear and loud enough sound. As to the cost of CROS type of hearing aids they vary depending on the style, circuit and manufacture. Thank you for your question. Sincerely, Ms. Ears.

QUESTION: My mother is living in the Ukraine and she has bad hearing. Where can I buy a hearing aid to send to her?

ANSWER: If your mother cannot buy a hearing aid in the Ukraine, there would be two possible ways to help her. First, since it is best to fit a hearing aid personally on someone, your mother could travel to a city where she could buy and be fit with one. If this is not possible, then a BTE (behind-the-ear) hearing aid could be purchased, an ear mould made and the device sent to her. It is important to know the degree of hearing loss and the cause of her impairment. If you have more information concerning her hearing loss, write back to me and I will help you find a hearing aid for her. Thank you for your question, I am looking forward to hearing from you again. Sincerely, Ms. Ears.

QUESTION: I have two completely in the canal hearing aids. When I move my jaw there is so much noise that I must remove my hearing aids while eating. How can I correct this? 

ANSWER: When a person moves his jaw there is some movement in the ear canal. The amount of movement in the ear canal will vary from person to person. CIC hearing aids go further into the ear canal than any other style of hearing aid and can be affected greatly by this movement. This jaw and ear canal movement can cause problems with ringing or feedback from hearing aids. The noise you talk about, while eating, is also related to the fitting and venting of the hearing aids. You should return to the person who fit you for your hearing aids and have him/her modify or remake them. This should resolve your fit problems. You should be able to wear your hearing aids while eating without feedback. Thank you for your question. Sincerely, Ms. Ears.

QUESTION: What is the best hearing aid on the market? I'd like one that tunes out background sounds.

ANSWER: There are many great hearing aids on the market today as the technology of hearing aids has moved into the digital arena. Many of the new digital hearing systems include multiple channels, each tuned for different listening environments. Some hearing aids have buttons that allow you to change from one listening environment to another. Other hearing aids use a remote (one manufacturer has the remote in a watch) and another has an automatic mode that changes channels as you enter different listening environments. I would suggest that you see an audiologist who will test your hearing and discuss with you all of the possible solutions for your hearing needs. Some of the hearing aid manufacturers' products that might address your hearing needs would include Phonak, Siemens, Starkey and Sonic Innovations. Thank you for your question, and good luck in your search. Sincerely, Ms. Ears.

QUESTION: I have recently purchased hearing aids for myself. The problem is that since I have been wearing them, my ears have been very tender. Is this something I will adjust to?

ANSWER: I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble. If your ears are tender, then your hearing aids may be either too tight or too big. I suggest you go back to where you purchased you hearing aids and have them modified or remade to fit you better. Thank you for your question. I hope this will help you. Sincerely, Ms. Ears.

QUESTION: I am using two ITC (in the canal) hearing aids. I have nerve deafness (sensorineural) with 68 db loss in both ears. How can I find out or estimate what my loss will be in a few years?  I am presently 29 and have been using hearing aids for 4 years.  My loss has been gradual and not sudden.  What is the solution when my loss exceeds 95db?  Does wearing a hearing aid increase or worsen hearing loss?

ANSWER: In this inquiry, the individual did not indicate the possible cause of sensori-neural hearing loss at such a young age, though (s)he did state that his/her hearing loss has been "gradual". In any case, it is difficult to estimate where his or her hearing may be in the next few years, as there are many causes and factors related to hearing loss. The second question concerning what solutions are available as the hearing ability decreases, would involve at least three areas. First, there are more powerful hearing aids that continue to improve all the time. Digital hearing aids are providing better hearing for many people now and will continue to improve over the next five to ten years. Second, when hearing levels get to the 100 + db range, there is the possibility of a cochlea implant. Finally, when your hearing decreases further you might want to consider taking a speech reading class to improve you ability to read lips. Speech reading with the hearing you have improves your ability to communicate. The last question of whether wearing hearing aids will increase or worsen your hearing loss is of great concern to many hearing aid users. Wearing hearing aids in normal listening environments should not contribute to further hearing loss. Remember, you should always be careful to protect your hearing when in the presence of noise. This is the case whether or not you are wearing hearing aids. Sincerely, Ms. Ears.

QUESTION: I am considering buying a hearing aid in the near future. I am especially interested in using it outdoors while birdwatching. Do some audiologists specialize in helping hard of hearing birders with higher pitch sounds such as those made by warblers, cedar waxwings, etc?

ANSWER: I don't know of any audiologists who specialize in fitting hearing aids to bird watchers, but we do fit hearing aids to people with a wide variety of lifestyles. Some hearing aids do provide more high frequency amplification than others (digital for example). You would find that these would be better for hearing birds. I suggest that you find an audiologist in your area that you are comfortable with and discuss your hearing possibilities. Thank you for your question and good luck hearing the birds. Sincerely, Ms. Ears.

QUESTION: My five year-old daughter has moderate-severe bilateral hearing loss and I am interested in digital hearing aids for her. Could you tell me where I could get more information on these products?

ANSWER: There are a number of digital hearing aids on the market now, including: Phonak, Siemens, Resound, among others. The digital hearing aids provide a cleaner and clearer sound, particularly in noise. You can look at the digital products they have at each of their web sites. www.phonak.com, www.siemens.com, www. resound.com
I have fit all of these products and find them to be of very good quality. Your daughter's audiologist will recommend the hearing aid that will work best for her. Thank you for your interest and good luck. Sincerely, Ms. Ears.

QUESTION: Where can I get information about Danalogic (GN Danavox Inc.) hearing aids?

ANSWER: To get the most current information about the Danalogic hearing aid, visit the GN Danavox web site at http://www.smart-hearing.com. I just looked at the site and think you will find all the information you may be looking for. Thank you for your question and good luck in your search. Sincerely, Ms. Ears.

QUESTION: My daughter has nerve damage and has about 60-70% hearing loss. Moderate to mostly severe. She's now 15 and has only worn one aid for the last few years because of a lump that started appearing right behind her earlobe, each time she would wear her aid for more than 4-5 hrs. I finally quit arguing with her to wear both aids because of the intense pain it caused. When she ceased wearing that one aid the lump never returned. Not one doctor or audiologist could figure it out, until an ENT suggested it might be a small tumor that is irritated when it gets no air or cannot drain properly. My daughter will not agree to wear the aid for a day in order for the lump to show up. We've not addressed the issue again. Do you have any experience with such things? Any advice?

ANSWER: I am glad your daughter is wearing at least one hearing aid, but I am sure your doctor, audiologist and you would agree that wearing two hearing aids would be better. I have not heard of a case exactly like hers and like the ENT would be interested to figure out if the lump is a small tumor or not. Fifteen is a tough age for anyone (remember those years?), especially for someone with a hearing loss. Your daughter has learned to function with one hearing aid, feeling comfortable with the amount of hearing that she has. I find that it can be a real challenge to try to make a significant change (like a second hearing aid), at this age. Love and encourage her in all her activities and at some point in the future she will express the need or desire to hear better. Then is the time to look at the issue of her second hearing aid and investigate the lump. Thank you for your question and I hope this helps. Sincerely, Ms. Ears.

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