August 9, 2010

Demo Days

Thursday afternoon, I picked Hadley up at science camp and gave her the new aids (Phonak Naida VSP) to trial. Once they were in, the very first thing she said to me was, "Your S sounds different. It sounds like a snake hissing." I let her know that she was probably just hearing more of the sound than she had before. Another minute passed, and she commented that everything was softer. This we expected, as the Phonak hardware is different from Siemens. I've been told by several audiologists that Siemens is loud, Phonak soft, and that a transition to Phonak hearing might not work for Hadley. Given the technology advances that Phonak has made (and Siemens has not), it was still worth a shot. I simply spoke a little louder, and Hadley was fine. She mentioned that my voice sounded robotic, which bothered her. This was when the camp exhaustion kicked in: she needed food and rest! Once home, Hadley vegged out with a movie; having her focused on listening and following the movie was a good way to let her adapt to her new hearing. By dinnertime, she announced that everything sounded better.

I already see improvement with these aids. I've kept track: Hadley has asked "What?" exactly four times since Thursday afternoon, each time when a brother was yelling next to her. She comprehends conversation immediately; before, it was as if she was on a two second delay while she pieced everything together. She's relying less on lipreading and visual cues. Listening on the phone isn't quite working for her, but that's probably something that can be fine-tuned with the software or improved with practice; sometimes each aid has its own sweet spot for listening that must be found through trial and error.

Hadley is liking these new aids as well, especially the size (they are almost 1/2" shorter than her current aids and fit more snugly behind her ear). She's finding it easier to listen and hear. However, she keeps hearing a crackling sound (that I can't hear when I listen to the aid; this might be her hair moving across the microphone) and doesn't like how sensitive the aid is when she lies her head down (with her current aids, if she pushes her head down on a pillow, she can stop the feedback. This is not happening with the trial aids). She asked last night if there were other aids to try out, so she can see what else it out there.

We return to the audiologist later this week for booth testing, where we will learn what impact these aids have on her hearing and discrimination. Overall, it's nice to know that are aids that give Hadley better access to sound. I like that she's being a smart shopper and is open to trying out other aids. Hopefully, we'll have a better idea of all of her options in the coming week.


  1. I hope the Phonak aids work for her - it does sound like there has been good improvement. Hopefully, she will get used to the other issues. But you're right - it's great that there are so many aids for her to trial so that she can determine what works best for her.

    My daughter was diagnosed with a mild bilateral loss last year and wears Phonak Micro Nios IIIs - she loves them and says we sound "normal," but louder. Anyway, hope Hadley finds the right aids soon. She's adorable, by the way!


  2. I wish Hadley a good luck on her Nadias journey!
    I use Phonak too! (FM system which is the Dymanic Inspiro)
    I'm was a Siemens user and I used them in the the past *they were analogs so they're dead right now*
    my Siemens makes everything louder til they were dead

    BTW, she should try some Oticon hearing aids
    (I currently use them and switching to them since my backup sets died)'s some hearing aids there she might like so check it out for yourself! is the one I'm about to switch into next year! thought she might like those since they're SUPER DIGITAL!!!

  3. It's good to hear she likes the Phonak. My 2 year old has Auditory Neuropathy and wears the Nios Micro III. She asks for them, so I guess she likes them!

    I've enjoyed reading about Hadley. I found you through "hearing loss" search on networked blogs!