Thursday, May 27, 2010


After calling EqualityCare to discuss coverage for hearing aids, basically if I wanted to get a new hearing aid nowadays to replace my old one, I should have just requested the Otion Sumo hearing aid instead of Phonak sending back a replacement. So now I'm trying to get in contact with the audiology office again, and see if we can work something out. It wasn't a repair to my old hearing aid, it was fully replaced with a new Supero. Yes, it works, but sometimes I just wonder if another hearing aid might be better. So I'll call the office again in about half an hour or so (when they get done with lunch) and see if something can be worked out. My original Supero was already 6 years old when Telecoil went busted (and apparently Phonak couldn't fix it), so EqualityCare would have covered a new hearing aid to replace the old one (they will cover new hearing aids after the old one has been used for 5 years and the warranty has expired). The replacement Supero is technically a whole new hearing aid, right?

EDIT: called audiology back.. it's still the same old Supero, just has new parts. The way the audiologist said it this morning, I got confused. Mentioned that I would like to at least trial an Oticon hearing aid, yada yada. Yeah. Got that straightened out.

It's back!

I have my Supero hearing aid back! Yahoo! Well, actually, it's a whole new Supero hearing aid. Apparently Phonak couldn't repair my actual hearing aid, so they just replaced it instead. Hum. Wow. Anyway, I'm very glad to have the Supero back. And just in time for my sister's birthday too! Today ought to be a good day!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Phonak vs. Oticon

I've worn Phonak hearing aids since I became deaf at age 2, and have always been happy enough with their products (until I tried out the Naida for 3 months a couple years back, which I didn't much care for). Now I'm just wondering how the Oticon products compare to Phonak. I currently am wearing Phonak's Supero 413AZ, and have been looking at the specs of Oticon's Sumo (Sumo's MPO and gain is just slightly higher than the Supero's). Just wondering if there's much of a difference between Supero and Sumo, such as any difference with feedback control, how the aids work in noisy situations, etc. I've had the Supero since May 2004 (so 6 years). It still works fine, but nowadays it seems I have to take the hearing aid back to the audiologist for more repairs than ever (telecoil setting went busted a couple weeks back and just now has been sent back to audiologist's office after being sent to Phonak for repair; battery cover broke and had to be replaced for the first time ever last month, etc. etc.). I'm just curious about the Sumo.

How does Oticon's FM products compare to Phonak's FM? I've quit using the old Phonak T-Mic FM transmitter since it broke/quit working frequently and have resorted to using the Hatis Epic silhouette earhook for listen to music. How about DAI? I tried DAI with the Phonak "shoe" on the Supero and directly connecting to iPod, etc. and I didn't like the way it sounded (static-y sounding) but perhaps I needed to have the audiologist do some adjustments to the Supero to make DAI work properly. Not sure if I will actually get a new hearing aid anytime soon or not. Just something I like to think about every once in a while. Maybe I just need to trial a Sumo and see if there's any difference; will have to see if something can be worked out.

Also curious as to when people generally replace their hearing aids. 6 years? 10? Do some people wait until the old hearing aids are busted/un-repairable before getting new ones? Just curious. The Supero I've had for 6 years now, the Claro (before I got Supero) 4 years; purple analog Pico forte 8 years, beige analog pico forte (before I got the purple ones) 7 years.

Still trying to get left ear implanted, it just may be a while longer yet. Now Medicaid insists that I score 40% or worse with the word recognition testing of the hearing test at best. I scored around 52% in the right ear the lest time I was tested (last year). It doesn't matter that the left ear is at 0% and it's the left ear I want to implant, Medicaid won't cover the implant with my 52% scoring of the right ear. From I was told, Medicare says person has to score 40% or worse in the ear that is to be implanted, and Medicaid generally follows Medicare's guidelines, but Medicaid will have their own specific guidelines. It's kind of frustrating, but what can I do. My right ear's scoring has been pretty consistent too (last year's testing, and the testing in 2006?, right ear scored 52%).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

telecoil is busted

The telecoil on my Supero hearing aid has gone kooky. How that happened, I have absolutely no clue at all whatsoever. One night, I was listening to music on the computer with the Hatis Epic silhouette earhook, everything working great. The next day at work when I try to listen to music on my iPod, I couldn't hear anything! If I maxed out the volume on the iPod, then I could barely hear something. And I found it odd that I didn't hear a buzzing sound when I put my ear close to the computer on the telecoil setting. That was when I knew something was wrong. Even just switching to telecoil has an odd sound now, that wasn't there before. I relay-called Phonak to see if there was anything I could possibly do. They said probably not, that it sounded like the hearing aid would have to be sent in for telecoil to be fixed. Oh great. Called and set up an appointment with local audiologist for ... Wednesday morning I think. Will see what happens then. I'm most definitely not happy to have to go back to the old analog for telecoil function. But what else can I do?