I got a call a while ago from a chap who had been recommended to me by a leading NHS Audiologist. He said he had a complex hearing loss and that the NHS chap had felt that they didn't really have anything that would suit the loss, but that I could probably be of help.
Every person's hearing loss is individual and can be called complex, but in this case, the customer had an asymmetrical hearing loss with one ear being far worse than the other.
Asymmetrical hearing losses are relatively rare, although it seems of late I am seeing quite a few of them. In the case of this customer he developed a sudden hearing loss in one ear that left his hearing on that side in the profound range. His other ear also had a hearing loss but it was a mild to moderate hearing loss. This as you can imagine caused him quite a bit of difficulty on a day to day basis. In the case of an asymetrical hearing loss, we have the responsibility to refer any Patient who presents with an asymmetrical hearing loss that has been un-diagnosed to an ENT specialist.
Asymmetrical hearing losses and any sudden hearing loss like this needs to be investigated fully. If you think you have suffered a dramatic and sudden hearing loss, you should attend the emergency department post haste. In the case of some types of sudden hearing loss, immediate treatment can help to restore some or all of your hearing. However, this treatment needs to be immediate.
In the case of this customer he had attended an ENT specialist and was cleared for treatment with hearing aids. The hearing loss was identified as permanent and un-treatable by any medical intervention.
Initially he was treated with hearing aids, using a power hearing aid on the worst affected side and a less powerful solution on the least affected side. He didn't get on very well at all and he felt that they were delivering little or no benefit. When he came to me, I told him that I felt a different approach would give him far better results, I felt that his understanding of speech through his worst ear was badly compromised. I also thought that any signal to the brain from that ear would be badly distorted and cause problems rather than solve them.
I decided to fit him with Phonak's latest CROS 2 V70 hearing aids as I felt he would get much better results. I recommended the V70 because of his work and lifestyle needs. CROS systems work by transferring the signal from the worst ear to the best ear wirelessly. The real magic is that they do so in such a way that the brain is tricked into believing that the signals are coming from the sides they should be. They are truly astonishing hearing aids and the reaction that customers have to them never fails to amaze me. He has been using them for a while and he really is impressed almost beyond words
One of the things he is astonished about is hearing sounds from his worst side, like he is actually hearing through his worst ear. He really can't get over the awareness of the location of sound that the CROS 2 system has given him. With the results apparent it seems I was right about the problems caused by the amplification to the worst ear with a power aid. The customer much prefers the CROS system and gets far more benefits out of them.
I won't leave you wondering any longer, the fish supper was great, you see the customer was Mr Norman Will, joint owner with his wife of one of the best, if not the best fish and chip shop in the north east…..‘’ Chips N Things ‘’ Ferry Street Montrose.
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