Recently I have been hearing some voices on radio and television as "tinny". There seemed to be a ringing sound behind the words they said. Concerned about this, I made an appointment with my audiologist to find out if perhaps my hearing aids needed repair or reprogramming.
I was assured right away that there was nothing broken with my aids. So I asked my audiologist if my hearing aids could be reprogrammed back to the settings they had in the beginning. I explained that when I first got them, I had trouble coping with fan noise and another audiologist had done some "creative programming" to solve the problem. It worked but ever since then, I have never heard speech as clearly which is my number one reason for wearing hearing aids. I've had various tweaks and volume adjustments done in the three years since and I was certain my current programming was pretty far off of what the original settings had been.
The audiologist thought that was a good idea. She erased my current programming and used the manufacturer's software to reset it to the profile recommended for my hearing loss. When I put the hearing aids in my ears, though, I couldn't even tell they were on until I tapped on the mics. The audiologist fixed that by increasing the gain twice. Much better.
Driving back to work, I was able to keep my hearing aids in the first program (for quiet environments) even with the window down. This is something I haven't been able to do for a long time. Previously the sound of the road, other cars, and my own car's engine always made me uncomfortable so I would turn the aids to the second program (for noisy environments). I also noticed that the jangling of my keys hanging from the ignition bothered me a lot less.
Back in my cubicle at the library, I was happy to discover that I could continue to wear my aids in the first program. Usually I had to have them set to the second program due to an unpleasant sound they picked up from a nearby mechanical closet. With this new programming, I didn't hear that noise at all!
When I saw my son that evening, I was very pleased at the sound clarity of his voice. Lately he had been very frustrated by my frequent misunderstanding of his speech and constant requests for constant. Later on I surprised myself when I had a conversation in my driveway with a neighbor past twilight when it was too dark even to see her face clearly. In times past, I would have avoided a situation like that at all costs.
Today while walking in to work, I looked up and saw a seagull flying overhead. Then I heard its wings. I was so amazed. I had been really certain that my previous experience hearing a bird's wings had been a once in a lifetime experience.
Tomorrow I will have a shift at the reference desk. That will be the litmus test. I'm trying to stay hopeful that I will hear better there, although I have to admit some of the distracting noises in that area continue to sound loud to me.
If you're interested, here's a printout from my audiologist visit that shows my new settings. You can click on the photo to view it larger.