‘I have tinnitus noise in my head / ear / ears’
The advice you are given is of paramount importance. Try to select an audiologist with tinnitus therapy / tinnitus management / tinnitus matching skills. They will often mention / advertise this in their literature. Generally speaking, most forms of tinnitus are ‘camouflaged’ successfully with hearing aids. A higher than expected level of amplification is often needed. trial and error is the key. Make sure (I know I keep saying this) you get a free trial. Tinnitus matching programmes are now routinely fitted on Phonak products.
‘I have tinnitus – that is my main concern ( this overrides hearing problem)’
It is commonly understood that hearing aids are the easiest technological way to mask tinnitus. I am not a fan of ‘maskers’ but now there are hearing aids with tinnitus masking natural sounds included in their features:
‘I can only hear in one ear’
A revolution in how this problem can be addressed occurred in 2013.
The PHONAK CROS B RECHARGEABLE has given some spectacular outcomes. Get a demo of this as soon as you can. It is without doubt my favourite hearing device.
‘I have ongoing ear infection / discharge’
Assuming your ear drums are intact, and you have seen your ENT consultant recently AND you already wear/ own NHS aids, try the following:
Any RIC aid (because the domes can be changed regularly)
Any BTE with mould (because the moulds can be renewed with spares)
Consider a remote control or volume control (to alter your amplification if and when your hearing level changes / fluctuates).
‘I have perforated eardrums’
If the perforation is recent, large in size or causing you discomfort, do not buy aids with domes (thin wire or thin tube open fit aids). These can be used in some cases. Your audiologist can advise you better once your ears have been examined.
Good results can be achieved so long as the fitting is accurate.
On a budget, try PHONAK Q30 in the ear, with wax guard removed.
If your loss is very severe, for a pretty good aesthetic look, try the OTICON OPN PP (in any version) with a canal-micro mould. If profound, try the OTICON SUMO DM with silicone moulds (with back-up moulds made at the same time).