Pleasantly Surprised at Function in Noise
I kept meaning to write this article and kept forgetting as other stuff turned up. I have had some experience over the last few months with the Audeo B-50. A couple of my Patients have chosen it as their aid of choice within their budget. The B-50 is a lower mid-level technology hearing aid which I would generally expect to help you hear better in situations like small groups and some mildly noisy situations. It seems though, in the case of most of the people I have fitted with the devices, they are getting help beyond those expectations. Let me explain.
High-Frequency Hearing Loss
The three customers I have based this article on all have a high-frequency hearing loss with a bit of a steep drop. I often err towards Phonak with this type of hearing loss because they seem to manage it so well. I discussed their options with them and explained why I thought Phonak might be the hearing aid brand for them. They agreed with my recommendation and decided to try out Phonak Audeo devices.
Lower Mid Technology Level
In all of the cases, the users decided that lower middle technology was were their budget was at. I always try to ensure that I manage the expectations of customers when it comes to hearing aid technology. I am always very honest about the limitations of technology levels, because that is what is right for the customer but also for me as well.
I try not to put the customer off, but at the same time, I don't want them to expect that the level of technology that suits their budget will be beneficial in every situation if it will not be. Generally, lower mid-level tech is good for situations such as around the house, small family groups, listening to the TV, talking on the phone and general out and about situations.
In general, this level of tech only helps in moderately noisy situations and only then, when the user uses some coping techniques that I speak to them about such as turning their back to the bulk of the noise, making sure that their companions are in front of them and facing them when speaking and finally trying to ensure that they are seated in a well-lit area so that they can see the faces clearly.
Better Than Expected
The three customers have reported better than expected results in noisy situations which is a pleasant surprise. While the situations they have been in were not raucously wild, they were noisy. All three have reported a good ability to hear their companions using the hearing aids and the coping techniques. In fact, they have reported results so good that I thought I should write about it.
The Shopping Centre
One, in particular, struck me, the Customer was in a local shopping centre at quite a busy time. That is a pretty hostile environment, high ceilings, some reverberation and the usual squak of a fair few people. He said that he got on really well and was able to converse with his wife easily. He said that he was careful about trying to use the coping techniques.
A Pretty Smart Wife
His wife is also pretty turned on, she always gets his attention before speaking to him which gives him more than half a chance at hearing what she is saying which is great.However, even with all of this, I was still pretty impressed with the hearing aids function.
Like I said, I have been impressed with the function of these hearing aids. If you are in the market for lower mid-level technology, well then see if you can get a trial of them, make up your own mind. This article has kind of spurred me on, at some stage, I must write an article about coping strategies to be used when you have hearing loss. At the minute, Steve wrote a good article a couple of years ago about how he copes with hearing loss.
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Posted by Geoff
Geoffrey (Geoff, anything else makes him nervous) Cooling is an Irish hearing aid blogger and has been involved with the hearing aid industry for over ten years. He has worked in private practice dispensing hearing aids and as a manufacturer's rep. He has written two books and they are both available on Amazon. He loves technology, passing on knowledge and is legendary for many other things, primarily the amount he curses, his dry and mischievous sense of humour and his complete intolerance of people who are full of themselves. Please feel free to connect with him
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