My teeth hurt if there’s too much NOISE

We’re supposed to wear our hearing aids all day long but I admit, I do not.  If I want to concentrate on something like writing, it’s a lot easier without a bunch noise coming at me.  If I’m just around the house, I probably won’t wear them either unless I’m having a bad hearing day.  If I’m in a noisy situation I most definitely do not wear them.

I teach a class for work called Hearing Aids 101.  The current class is at a senior center and it seems audiologists do not educate their clients about hearing aids. I’m not sure if they think they can’t handle the technology or they don’t have enough time, maybe some of both.  A few have worn hearing aids for years, a few have hearing aids and won’t wear them and some are about to buy their first pair of hearing aids.

One lady who wears hearing aids said her audiologist told her to wear the hearing aids all day long to get the brain used to sounds again, to reconnect those pathways in the brain.  “Yes!” I tell her, “Good girl” basically.  But noisy set situations set my teeth  on edge I explain. I have a bad habit of clenching my teeth when stressed out and this includes too much incoming noise.  Sometimes I don’t realize the noise it too much until my teeth start hurting.  Then I back off trying my comfort program first and if I’m still clenching my teeth, I take them out.

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In all these years I’ve never gotten used to noisy environments and hearing aids.  I’ve seen people at concerts with hearing aids in and cringed.  (By the way that’s not protecting your remaining hearing very much.)  Market Street Grill ( a local eatery with wonderful food and horrible acoustics) came up during this class when too much noise was mentioned.  Each time I’ve been there I’ve taken my hearing aids or not worn them at all.  We rarely go to eat there because of it.

It’s a noisy world out there. I’m wearing my teeth down walking down the road, when lawnmowers come out and I clenched my teeth continually when I worked in the salon.  Public bathrooms are worse than ever  now  thanks to those super air dry screaming machines (I’d rather wipe my wet hands on my pants). There’s someone who lives in the neighborhood with bass boom box in their car even I can hear coming from down the street.  Someday sooner than we think the majority of the people will be hard of hearing rather than the minority.  Then the world will change in our favor.

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6 responses to “My teeth hurt if there’s too much NOISE

  1. I ma looking for bloggers with hearing loss who are willing to try a new free hearing aid(s) and either provide feedback, give a review or write a blog about the product. Interested?

  2. We share a similar situation! I am around 18 months into wearing hearing aids which I do faithfully. I was well aware that I had loss in the right ear and some small loss in the left ear. When my wife finally convinced me to have my hearing tested, her audiologist would not let me leave without pushing hearing aids on me even as I stated that I didn’t feel the loss was that severe.

    So about 3 weeks and $4500 later I was fitted with well known, brand name hearing aids. The pain started before I got two miles from his office. In two days I went back and asked that they be adjusted with the volume turned down. The selling audiologist was not available so his assistant worked with me. Her immediate response was that she didn’t understand why they were set to their maximum level and she also did not know why he did not give me the ability to control the volume. She made numerous adjustments to both tonal and volume settings as gave me the ability to reduce the volume at will.

    My initial reaction was that they were still far too loud. So about 3 weeks into wearing them I gathered everything with the full intent of returning them. From the moment I entered the door it was obvious that was a no go. They were not about to take them back despite the 30 day grace period. So we start adjustments all over again. Some 18 months later I am still turning them down to their lowest level, have literally pulled them out of my ears when the church organ starts, take them off or turn them all the way down at musical events, and frequently wear them several days before I realize that the batteries are dead. My fear is that I was fitted too soon and may have permanently damaged my hearing as a result of the excessive boost. They remain adjusted at their lowest settings with the last adjustment being done around certain frequencies. Even so by the end of every day I am dealing with an ear ache in both ears. This simply does not seem normal to me.

    If anyone has had a similar experience I would welcome feedback.

    Thank You

  3. It sounds like you have some recruitment going on which cam make hearing aid use harder in a some situations. Here’s a definition of recruitment: “a large increase in the sensation of loudness with only a slight increase in the actual intensity of a sound. Even though quiet sounds cannot be heard due to the presence of hearing loss, louder sounds may quickly become uncomfortable to the listener as they increase in volume. Recruitment is commonly associated with a sensorineural hearing loss and does not vary with emotions.”
    Extreme sensitivity is called hyperacusis and here’s a definition of that: an unusually low tolerance to ordinary environmental sounds, which are tolerable to listeners with normal hearing. There are estimates that between 40-86% of people who report this also have tinnitus and most sufferers present with no obvious hearing loss.
    (Both definitions picked up from hearinglink.org)
    I don’t think you were fitted too soon but I think the original audiologist did you a great disservice by maximizing the levels, that’s is wrong. Everyone should start out at lower levels and work their way up. It also kind of makes me mad they wouldn’t let you return them, excuse me?! In that 30 days they HAVE to take them back.
    I hated my current hearing aids the first 6 months I had them and wanted to return them but my audiologist convinced me to keep trying. I know how convincing they can be. However, I already had a relationship built up with my audiologist and I was pretty sure I could trust him if not the hearing aids. We worked at it for 6 months and it we finally got it. Why it took so long time I have no idea but I did gain 12% more word discrimination in the end and I’m happy with them now.
    Even with all that, I don’t wear my hearing aids in noisy situations. It’s uncomfortable and since I’ve learned to get along without in those situations I’m perfectly content to do so. My audiologist all hearing aid users tend to have some recruitment, some more than others. We have a lower threshold for noise since we hear only certain sounds…something like that. I believe him.

    • Chelle,

      Thank you so much for your helpful and informative response. You have used terms and explained their meaning and that really helps me understand my loss. I have been wearing them all the time and just after my post I did take them out while watching a football game. I could not tell any difference between volume with or without the hearing aids. The next day I went for a very early haircut and then straight to the gym, so I deliberately did not put them in upon awakening. I noticed no difference in the volume of my car radio, the sounds of traffic, the sounds at my hair stylist’s shop, or the sounds at the gym. Upon leaving I did put them in and immediately turned them down 5 levels (I have 7 levels). That put the volume at a comfortable level.

      I can hear a watch tick with the left ear but not a chance with the right ear. I know the audiologist is trying to get a balance but it simply isn’t there. I do take them off to listen to music with headphones or when using any type of power equipment. With music I rarely have to adjust the sound between the left and right ear. So that does beg the question of the severity of my hearing loss. Perhaps not too soon, but quite possibly too much hearing aid for my loss.

      This same audiologist fitted my wife with her second set of hearing aids less than 3 years ago (her second set). He offered that with the technology built into those, she should easily go 5 to 6 years without needing new ones. On a visit this summer he said she was really for new hearing aids. (in 2012 we paid $6500). My wife said absolutely not, now adjust them. Amazingly he was able to improve her hearing ability, but still suggested she should purchase a new set.

      I asked if she and I could simply trade and he said such is not possible because hearing aids “are manufactured for the specific individual.” That stuck me as odd since he has a huge sign in his waiting area asking people to donate their old devices for the hearing impaired who cannot afford to purchase aids. How would that work?? Does the factory rework them for those less fortunate or does the audiologist simply adjust them for someone with similar hearing loss??

      Bottom line is I have had a very bad experience with this audiologist and have loss faith in him and his clinic. Ditto for my wife. When she really does need new aids she will not return to this provider.

      But I do thank you for your kind response and words of encouragement. I will keep trying and am in the process of scheduling a hearing test with a local medical schools audiology department. They have no interest in selling hearing aids for profit, but will do testing and recommend providers.

      Thanks Again,
      Ray

    • Thanks so much for the very helpful response. As you can imagine, I am not pleased with this audiologist. My wife is on her second set in 8 years and he is saying at 3 years old the second set is obsolete and needs to be replaced. She said no way and amazingly he did adjustments that improved her hearing.

      He and I are not having a good time. I think at a minimum he oversold for me and knows it. He has turned me over to one of his assistants.

      You gave me some great points to bring up on my next visit.

      Thanks Again!
      Ray

      • I think it would be best to move. Don’t be afraid to try several different audiologists until you find someone you are comfortable with. I went through four audiologists myself here in Utah before settling with one I liked.
        Good luck! Remember, you are the boss, you paid him and he owes you.

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