Queen Elizabeth Hospital hearing aids, part 2
By Michael Reid, Lead Tutor
Now I will continue my hearing aid story (from part one published 24.10.2014). I arrived in the Audiology department for my new ear mould and updated Phonak hearing aid. It was more streamlined than my old one. The aid was fine-tuned to match my audiogram, but this took some time as the sound I was hearing was too bass low. We agreed that I would try the aid for one week in order to get used to the sound difference, and I kept my old hearing aid in case I decided to swap back.
As I drove home, the sound of the traffic just didn’t seem right compared to the clarity of my old aid, and even the music in my car sounded strange, despite changing the bass settings on my radio. Even the familiar sound of my wife’s voice and our children playing at school were not clear. That evening we went to see Wicked at the theatre; I didn’t want to put up with anything less than perfect clarity, so I wore my old aid.
After a week I had to email Audiology to tell them that the new aid had too much bass sound, and requested an appointment. They replied that I could just drop in any morning, although when I finally went, it was full of elderly people and I knew that I would have quite a wait. I saw a different audiologist this time and I explained about the bass sounds. The aid was re-tuned again, but still sounded different from my old aid. I asked the woman to start a conversation as she did the tuning so that I could assess the vocal sounds. It still had too much bass and I wondered if the new Phonak just wasn’t suitable for me, even though it was a lighter, upgraded model. I suggested that she simply transfer the program settings over from the old aid to the new one, but she didn’t know how to do this and asked me to make an appointment with a more knowledgeable audiologist. She guessed that a one hour appointment would be necessary and would send out the date by post.
Meanwhile, I have been wearing my old aid. I hope that they will be able to transfer the program; in fact I have just received a letter for an appointment on 9th October with the Head Audiologist. I will let you know what happens: will the transfer be successful? Will I keep my old aid? Will I try a different make to Phonak? Will there be a new i-hearing aid? Wait and see!