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Analogue hearing aids versus digital hearing aids - any experiences?

(8 Posts)
peggotty Tue 27-Feb-07 10:08:46

I have just been givena nhs analogue hearing aid to try out, for my moderate hearing loss. So far I am finding it a bit weird i.e it just amplifies ALL sounds and doesn't sound like 'real sound' but almost like I'm listening to a radio ifkwim. Has anyone had experience of having an analogue h/a and then getting a digital one, and what the difference is. THe analogue one IS helping me to hear better but the sound quality just makes everything sound odd and will take a lot to get used to. I've heard a digital h/a would only amplify speech and things you would actually want to hear, rather than everything? Does it sound like 'real' sound with digital h/a? I can tell already I will have to turn this one off anywhere remotely noisy - soft plays with a hearing aid would be hell (could argue they are already though! )!! Thanks in advance.

Aefondkiss Tue 27-Feb-07 10:26:48

hello peg

I don't know the science and well my experience is through my mum, she has been wearing hearing aids since for more than thirty years.

I think all hearing aids are hard to get used to, she is very deaf and recently got the digital hearing aids, the thing is she has struggled with them, though the benefits are that she does not get the background noise, which can be exhausting, I do think she prefers them now that they have been adjusted properly, at first she was just exhausted by them.

She was told initially that her hearing was too bad for digitals, but she thinks it was more a cost issue, so if digitals are better you might have a fight to get them.

Have you been in touch with any organisations that might be able to advise you?

coppertop Tue 27-Feb-07 10:32:30

I've only ever had analogue ones and I agree that the way they amplify everything can be almost painful. I know that round here the average wait for digital ones is about 18mths so it's worth getting yourself on the waiting list asap. Now I just need to practise what I preach......

CristinaTheAstonishing Tue 27-Feb-07 10:36:40

Hi Peggotty. My DS wears hearing aids. He started on analogues and moved the digitals. The transition was very difficult for him, inexplicable since it should have been so much better. The clarity through digitals was much better - to my ear. I think the analogues gave him a blast of sound which given his profound hearing loss, he needed. Anyway, it took him more than a year to get used to digitals. You'd obviously get there much faster as know what sound is and what to expect. DS has just had a cochlear implant in one ear but is still using the digital in the other while he gets used to the implant.

DS's hospital are phasing out analogues and getting everyone on to digitals. If your hearing loss is only moderate you have such a choice of hearing aids, make the most of it. Of course programming them is key. Good luck.

Aefondkiss Tue 27-Feb-07 10:38:31

it might be worth getting back in touch with your audiology department, just to make sure, they might be able to adjust the hearing aid a bit and at least it means you are letting them know that you are having a problem


oh and I just read this

Analog/Adjustable: The audiologist determines the volume and other specifications you need in your hearing aid, and then a laboratory builds the aid to meet those specifications. The audiologist retains some flexibility to make adjustments. This type of circuitry is generally the least expensive.

Analog/Programmable: The audiologist uses a computer to program your hearing aid. The circuitry of analog/programmable hearing aids will accommodate more than one program or setting. If the aid is equipped with a remote control device, the wearer can change the program to accommodate a given listening environment. Analog/programmable circuitry can be used in all types of hearing aids.

Digital/Programmable: The audiologist programs the hearing aid with a computer and can adjust the sound quality and response time on an individual basis. Digital hearing aids use a microphone, receiver, battery, and computer chip. Digital circuitry provides the most flexibility for the audiologist to make adjustments for the hearing aid. Digital circuitry can be used in all types of hearing aids and is typically the most expensive.

Tortington Tue 27-Feb-07 10:41:08

my dd was deaf for a while she had digital. the way i understand it - is that they can programme the digital to amplifly the frequencies you dont hear

rather than
amplify everything.

frances5 Tue 27-Feb-07 10:48:13

My son has digital hearing aids for glue ear. He finds using them hard when he is in a crowded room with lots of background noise. However his teacher thinks they are helping him.

I get the impression from my son that hearing aids take a lot of getting used to. He says that they stop his ear getting muddled up with words.

Biglips Tue 27-Feb-07 10:51:55

ive had analogue hearing aid from age of 2 and had it till 2 years ago (i got the digital ones and they are brilliant!!)....i was so shocked to find out how crap the analogue ones were and the things ive never heard being so loud or never heard it before eg we live opposite the docks and on the windy days the container fall and i never heard it fall till now and its loud!! and yes my dp said that it had improve my speech too

But yes you gotta get used to them first - same to me when i went onto the digital ones

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