advice on hi-tech hearing aids

Hi www.
I am posting for some communal internet advice regarding hearing aids.

My wife has finally succumbed to getting her hearing tested (after years of me nagging) and a few weeks ago finally got an NHS hearing aid – a siemans impact pro M.

She is 32 and has now got over the initial “embarrassment” of wearing it and has it on almost all the time. We are now wondering is the hearing aid she has the best for her and what other options are available.

Browsing shops, seeking advice and looking a lots of online sites, hearing aids seem to be heavily linked with stairlifts and walk in baths. This of course is understandable and probably hits the majority of the target market, but can anyone point me in a better direction with the below in mind.

She works with a heavy reliance on her mobile phone and laptop so is Bluetooth something of an option?
She will be using a hearing aid for the rest of her life so we don’t mind spending.
We are happy to upgrade TV phones etc if need be.
We are pretty active spending a lot of time outside (advice regarding the current hearing aid was if it rains take it out!!! :S)
She is not keen on wearing something around her neck.
We have heard apple may be developing something
We have kids - sometimes the off button is used in the car 
We do socialise (pubs/resturants etc) a fair bit – if we can get a baby sitter ;)
She is in the process of getting a second hearing aide (same type) for her other ear
Her hearing loss is pretty bad

All thoughts welcomed
  • Hi

    If your other half is due to get a second siemens impact. the tek or mini tek is a compatible blue tooth streamer. I have two impacts also and a mini tek. I can stream music or phone calls or have my independent volume to the tv.

    hope this helps!
  • Hi Doug,
    I was amused by your short-list of requirements. I would hope for almost exactly that list, and I am twice her age! Those requirements must be pretty universal I would think.

    Early on, I installed a loop system at home. It extends throughout the house and means I can listen to TV, radio and audio equipment as I move around the house without having the volume so high as to annoy others. In fact I have it contrived so it isn't dependant on the volume control of the source so the sound can be switched off, and only I can hear it (useful for late night TV watching when everyone else has gone to bed!). Transmits to the T-coil setting on my Aides, so no wires, neck loops, headphones or other nuisances to battle with. Haven't investigated Bluetooth but I imagine a similar system could be set up that way too, but she would of course then need Bluetooth enabled Aides as well (more expensive?)

    I will comment on one other item, which is about outdoor activities. Over the years I have had several hearing aids from different manufacturers. All of them have cut out when they get a good soaking in extreme weather conditions. i.e. walking in the rain ;-)
    Actually, I mean hill walking so maybe the extreme is justified. But they have always come back on again after being dried and carried in a warm pocket for an hour or so.

    More annoying, is the dreaded feedback whistle that is impossible to avoid if you need to put a hood up because of rain, sleet or snow conditions. The only solution is to switch them off and walk in silence. Not ideal, and I am still looking for an answer to this one so will be interested in any other feedback. (pun intended!)

    Actually, I am surprised, and a bit disappointed about the minimal level of dialogue that this forum generates. One can rely on response from just a small handful of helpful contributors, but the silent majority is huge and very silent! Just compare the numbers in the "Views" and the "Replies" columns for any thread!

  • Hi, sorry original poster but my reply is for Rustyfrog - hope you don't mind me hijacking the thread and hopefully the info will be of benefit too you too. It's regarding feedback and hoods.

    I am a relative novice, I only had an aid fitted in January but have had various issues, including a lot of trouble with feedback, even turning my head sideways when sitting on the sofa could cause whistling. I actually thought this was normal and just something I had to deal with. However I have ended up with a softer ear mould - not the hard acrylic - due to other reasons and this has cured the feed back entirely, the only time I get whistling now is if I put it in or out when on, which I can avoid doing. And - don't laugh but - I have just done a little test with my husbands decent North Face gortex waterproof with the hood, which seemed like a fairly good test as it's designed for heavy rain so the hood is substantial and comes right round and the face and hey presto - no feedback. My loss is the low end of moderate so not the biggest amplification but whatever I do with these moulds I can't make them whistle if they are securely in my ear. They are a bit more snug than the hard acrylic but you do get used to it, and the audiologist who suggested them said she considers them " acoustically superior". Anyway, my contribution over.

    And I agree, very little dialogue on this forum despite the numbers of visitors, I've been a tad disappointed too!
  • Hi Eightlegs (Arachnid?!)
    Thanks for that advice. Maybe I should try and get one of these soft earmoulds. It would certainly be worth it if it works.

    I have raised the question more than once over the years with the Audiologist who tried running a feedback suppression programme on my last aide but that didn't seem to make any difference. Apparently it is because I am in the "severe hearing loss" category and the amplification on the aid needs to be pretty high. They do whistle in all sorts of other situations, not just when wearing a waterproof hood. When I eat, talk, stand next to someone in a queue, or laugh - which I still manage to do quite a lot! ;-)
  • I'd say it would be worth a try, my understanding was that the hard acrylic was mainly for mild and moderate loss, and other materials were better suited to severe loss, but I'm not sure where I got that info from (I've done a lot of reading around as I have two separate conditions affecting the hearing in my one ear and both are progressive so I'm trying to look ahead too).

    Good luck!