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Review of my new Hearing Aid (as promised)


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#1 of 4 OFFLINE   Brian Harnish

Brian Harnish

    Screenwriter

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Posted December 24 2003 - 04:35 AM

Well, it was a long time coming, but below is the review of my new hearing aid (as promised in an earlier thread).

First, a little background on my hearing loss for those that don't know. I'm 24 right now. I've been hearing impaired since around three years old. My left ear is completely deaf (no hearing aid will be able to help me). My right ear has moderate to severe loss, so I am at least able to get great benefits from wearing a hearing aid. For the past ten years, I've been wearing an analog aid in my right ear.

Last Thursday, December 18th, I had the privilege of finally upgrading from a ten year old analog hearing aid to a brand-new top of the line digital. It was definitely a significant transition. My grandfather (what an awesome guy) was kind enough to help me out and I'll be paying him back as soon as I can.

The biggest thing I've noticed is that sounds are clearer and smoother with this hearing aid versus the sometimes-muffled and harsh sounds of the analog I used to wear. Almost immediately, people I've known for awhile began commenting me on how clear my speech has become. The hearing aid I got is GNResound's Canta 7. Now, as far as the dynamics of the hearing aid go, here they are (in no particular order):

1. Due to the aid's multi-directional microphone, I can tell where sound is coming from for the first time in over ten years. It was a big shock to finally understand words and distinguish sounds that were coming from BEHIND me! I don't even have to lip read anymore to understand what someone's saying. Of course, it is a bit more difficult in noisy situations but it's become much easier to understand people in noisy places (such as the retail store in which I work). While this is not related to the multi-directional mic, I can actually understand conversations from around the corner and at least ten feet away now. I've never been able to do that before.

2. Noise Reduction. This is one of the best features of this hearing aid (but can also be the worst at the same time). In the car, I can hear the radio clearly but sound from the outside in is rather muffled and quiet. However, I am going to be having this adjusted by my audiologist. I need the lower frequency range of my aid adjusted as some men (and soft spoken people in general) seem to be more difficult for me to understand. Also, the lower notes in music aren't as pronounced as they should be.

3. Music. I don't have the program that enhances music but just by getting this hearing aid, I can actually distinguish each note and pitch in music without difficulty. This makes it 100 times more enjoyable to play the piano and sing again! I've begun playing again (after about a six month layoff) and I can't believe how different and strange it sounds. But it sounds so rich and beautiful at the same time. Some of my CDs sound so strange as I am hearing music on my CDs that I've never heard before.

4. Home Theater. With the added directional microphone on my new hearing aid, I can actually hear a more pronounced three dimensional effect than I could with my analog hearing aid. I thought I heard pretty well with my analog but I cannot believe how much I've been missing in this area. I've been hearing things in my DVDs that I haven't heard before. This has also been a very new and exciting experience for me.

Being that it's digital, it will require several visits to the audiologist to have him tweak and fine tune my new aid to its fullest potential. Also, it will require at least six weeks for my brain to adjust to the new digital signal. From what I've been experiencing though, it is the best hearing aid that I have ever owned. I feel very privileged to have such an incredible instrument to help me. And also that it came at just before Christmas. What a great gift! Posted Image

#2 of 4 OFFLINE   BrianW

BrianW

    Screenwriter

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Posted December 24 2003 - 06:26 AM

Thank you, Brian. For that enlightening and heartwarming review. Though my situation has been largely rectified through reconstructive surgery, I have experienced the very same frustrations and successes you describe. So you must know, as no one else can, how heartfelt it is when I say: Congratulations! May your ability to hear last a lifetime!

If you have some time off, I recommend filling it with music and movies, as I intend to do.
-Brian
Come, Rubidia. Let's blow this epoch.

#3 of 4 OFFLINE   Matt Gordon

Matt Gordon

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Posted December 24 2003 - 07:44 AM

Sounds great, Brian!
No pun intended. Posted Image

Congratulations on your new hearing aid. I hope it continues to help you and gets better and better!
Spoiler tags are cool.

#4 of 4 OFFLINE   Darren Crouse

Darren Crouse

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Posted December 24 2003 - 10:29 AM

Great review. I've been diagnosed with an acoustic neuroma and my neurosurgeon/ENT both suggested I might lose all or some of my hearing after the brain surgery. I've always felt a love for music and often feared losing it over my sight because I am so fond of classical music. I promised myself before I have surgery that I will see (and hear) Handel's Messiah with my original hearing. But it is nice to know that there are advances in this technology. I never thought that hearing would be an issue that I would have to deal with until I was elderly. Funny how we take things for granted.

Thanks for input and enjoy your new hearing aid.

-Darren Crouse.
Religion is the opium of the masses. Revolution is the opium of the intellectuals.