Recommendations needed - Hearing Aids

Hi, I put this here thinking partially it is financial, but if it should go elsewhere, I would appreciate it if the moderators would move it - or tell me where to put it.

Here’s where I need advice. For those who don’t remember, my AVM started in my left neck and shoulder and moved up into my brain during the 42 years that I’ve been fighting it. The typical “hearing loss” damage is those little hairs in your middle ear that move and tell the brain what to hear. That’s not my problem. My problems has to do with the 13 cranial nerves (at least 8 or 9 of them) and the way they communicate with my brain. If you look at the standard hearing chart and figure that what the industry figures is “80%” my right ear is just a little below that depending on exactly what pitch level it is.

My left ear, depending on frequency starts out (lowest pitch) at about 20%, goes up to mid range around 50% and then slides back down to almost non-existent in the upper ranges. In other words, not your normal hearing levels and not your normal variations. Following my neuro docs, my ENT says, “TJ, you’re complicated.”

Not to sound like I’m asking for sympathy, but my Dad passed away at the end of his fifth battle with cancer about 2 months after my big surgery in 2018. He was 80 and literally failed retirement. He was at work at the Seminary up until 2 weeks before God called him home. Other than the fact that I miss him and he was a strong factor in my life, how does that fit in this story? My Dad had hearing aids for about 10 years and had just bought a new pair about 6 months before he passed away. Well, both my older and younger brothers hear fine (whether they listen well is another story), so I was the only one who could use the hearing aids. So I took them in, get them rehabbed (my word) and then I started using them.

And they never worked very well. They are very good high quality and expensive but they didn’t do even a fraction of what they claimed they were supposed to do. There were a lot of times where I couldn’t pick up conversation around me, or hear what someone across the table was saying, I also had big problems with crowds. And I couldn’t find a good volume level because if I had them loud enough that I could hear and understand them, within 5 minutes I would have a hefty headache come in on top of what I already had.

So, I’m looking for something different. Ideally some sort of blue tooth headset/earbuds or something that would allow a couple of things in particular:

  • the ability to coordinate the volume so that it matches my capabilities. So, let’s say I was at 40%L and 80% right, if I could increase them that same way it makes the hearing from my left ear a lot clearer and less painful.
  • to adjust the settings so that it’s either focusing on one conversation or a broader spectrum of hearing.
  • set up to work with my iPhone so that I can use them as headphones to play music in between using them as hearing aids. Oh and it could also switch back and forth to use for phone calls.

So, sometimes they would need to block out sound but let certain sound in, sometimes they would need to block out all sound, sometimes it would help block out exterior sound but not interior, some times back the other way. Think of it this way - highly customizable headphones that can be flipped over to use as hearing aids.

I’ve tried the Olive Union earbuds and the Nuheara IQBuds. The IQ Buds do a better job but I’m not sure they are good enough. Does anyone have any experience with anything like that? I’m really finding that my traditional hearing aids, well it works better to just use ear plugs when it’s too noisy and deal with it from there.

Anyone try or actually use the AirPod Pros? They sound like they might be the best ones to try?

Thanks in advance,