There are not a lot of differences between hearing aids when it comes to understanding speech better in a one-on-one situation. Particularly in a quiet situation. In-order-to answer this question properly, 3 pieces of information need to be identified.
1. What is your Word Recognition Score?
Your Word Recognition Score is a percentage of correct words that you get when you are tested at an audible level. If you have a low percentage correct score, then you will likely receive similar results from even the most expensive hearing aid on the market. If you are REALLY LOW on this score (>40%), you may be a candidate for a Cochlear Implant and should be evaluated for candidacy.
2. What is your Speech in Noise Score (Quick SIN)?
If you have mild SNR loss (3-6 dB) then you would likely receive benefit from a high-quality hearing aid. If you have a moderate loss (7-12 dB) then you may experience problems even with a high-quality hearing aid. If you have greater than 12 dB SNR loss then you would likely struggle significantly without a remote microphone or FM system used in conjunction with your hearing aids.
3. Are you programmed to your prescriptive targets?
If a hearing aid is not programmed properly, it doesn’t matter how good of a hearing aid you have. The only way to properly verify that a hearing aid is meeting your prescription is to have Real Ear Measures done. These are performed by inserting small rubber probe tips into your ears along with your hearing aids, and measuring the volume of the aids. It is estimated that less than 30% of hearing care providers actually use Real Ear Measures.
Long story short, this question is impossible to answer well without the answers to these 3 key pieces of information.
I would consider asking about a hearing aid with a "remote microphone" so the person you are talking to can speak directly into the microphone. Since Beltone is owned by ReSound and ReSound has a remote microphone option, you may want to ask if it is available in the Beltone product.
I am not familiar with Beltone products, but Resound has a wonderful, very powerful aid (Enzo) that may be more beneficial to you. Also, have you ever looked into a Cochlear Implant? I would recommend scheduling an appointment with an Audiologist who is familiar with Cochlear Implants so you can become educated on all of your options.
If you are wearing a Boost, you have a profound hearing loss. The Boost is the most powerful hearing aid that Beltone makes. Generally hearing aid users complain more about speech in noise and do just fine in one-to one conversation. With the struggle you are describing, I would agree with a previous post that you should know what your word recognition scores are. Ask your hearing healthcare provider to explain your scores and what type of results you should be having while wearing your hearing aids. Your word recognition scores reflect your ability to process the words after the hearing aid has done it's job. Sometimes when a person has been deprived of hearing properly for many years, our auditory nerve and brain suffer from lack of stimulation and they no longer function as well. Your age may be a factor as well. This is a difficult conversation to have with a patient, but as we age, we have a harder time understanding in general, particularly when we get distracted by other noises. Beltone makes a device called a MyPal. This wireless device is compatible with your hearing aids and can help tremendously with understanding (particularly one one one). It is a great accessory and those with profound hearing loss see a real benefit.
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