Re: Issue With The Denver VA
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I am Karl Hallsten--100% service connected for hearing loss Vet--currently bi=lateral CI---It's six plus years since I had a Phonak Naida in my left ear.
I had preferred the Oticon sound--but I needed the help of the Phonak FM system which I was the first one issued in the VA back in 2000.--I was part of a research project at the Bay Pines VA which was testing the FM system as a means of delaying or avoiding a CI--at that time I was borderline for a CI--but was not really fully evaluated. The FM system worked for me and I was even issued a new model when it became available. In addition to being an HLAA member and on the Vets Across America, I am president of the Adult Loss of Hearing Assn--ALOHA here in Southern AZ. We have virtual meetings every week and your welcome to join in--
I am so sorry to hear of your issues.
1. Don't take the tack of newer technologies--focus on you can't hear and what situations you can't hear in. Let the audi--be the expert on equipment--you on whether it works.
Persist that they provide you a pair that work.--As far as I know the policy to provide you with a functional back-up pair is still in effect.
2. Ask to have a different audi---this is a formal request. I did this for a primary care provider--and it worked.
3. It sounds to me that HA are not enough for you--especially in noisy situations. The Roger system might be an option. (I suspect that no one has told you that the best HA and CI have a highly effective range of 6 feet. After that the speech to noise ratio is in the pits--even sooner in noisy situations. How far can you be from the mic and have it pic up)
4. Yes, get a rep and file complaint---focus on HA working for you--not brand---document where you can't hear and where you can. What settings and adjustments--impact?
5. And the standard VA rule--if denied, reapply. Repeat dosage as needed for results.
6. Use your congressional rep if it gets bogged down.--(I think you're there now!) They like doing Vets.
Again: stay focused on the goal--hearing--not the brand or equipment. Let it be said--"He persisted." Please keep us informed as it helps us help others.
Thanks for your service--Karl
From: HLAAVeterans@... <HLAAVeterans@...> On Behalf Of Jim Rau via hlaagroups.hearingloss.org
Sent: Monday, August 23, 2021 1:51 PM
Subject: Re: [HLAAVeterans] Issue With The Denver VA
Hi Dick, Welcome to the site. Glad you found it.
I also have a service connected hearing loss from Viet Nam. Like you I struggle to understand speech in noisy situations. I have received my audiology care from VA for many years. At first I was told I could get new hearing aids every 3 years and most recently every 4 years.
My most recent hearing aid replacement began in February when I qualified for new hearing aids. I had been using Oticon OPn. The audiologist tested my hearing and prescribed new Oticon More (which would become available on VA contract in May. By the time the hearing aids came in late may that audiologist had moved to a different position in VA. The audiologist who set up my Otidon Mores said she thought I’d do better with the Phonak Paradise so she ordered them but did fit me with to. Oticon Mores which I wore for 3 months while waiting for the Phonaks. Two weeks ago she fit me with the Phonak Paradise which seem to work a bit better than the Oticons but I have issues. While they do sound a bit better and connect wirelessly to more things than the Oticons they are harder to use. By that I mean they don’t work as seamlessly as the Oticons. The Phone app that controls the Phonaks is terrible. It drops connections and changes programs randomly. I found out from Phonak that the Paradise hearing aide provided to VA do not have the latest firmware and VA won’t have that firmware until about November. So I went to a private audiology clinic and got them updated with the new firmware. They still remain unstable. Outgoing phone calls connect the Phonaks, but incoming calls go to the phone audio and I have to switch it over manually.
I was anxious to get the Phonak Paradise but I’m considering going back to the Oticons because they work seamlessly. Today,for instance, my Phonaks changed programs about 6 or 8 times by themselves. I changed them back manually to the correct program each time. The mute button mutes the Phonaks only momentarily. I sometimes want to mute them and just listen to music without the hearing aid microphones on. The Phonaks have more automatic features which is great but they don’t work as they are supposed to. I’m communicating with Phonak and the private audiologists to remedy the instability issues. Bottom line is I’m still undecided which ones I’ll keep. I know I’ll have them for at least 4 years.
For you, I think VA’s position is that they will not replace your hearing aids as long as they are working just to get the latest technology. Every time Ihave received new hearing aids my anticipation was much higher than the improvement. The way the audiologist sets them up is more important in my opinion. And if I were you I wouldn’t want the Phonak Paradise from VA until after they get the new firmware (November???)
President HLAA WI Association
On Aug 23, 2021, at 3:11 PM, dwisott <dwisott@...> wrote: