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Old 20.08.2019, 11:40
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Hearing Aids - BiCROS and Specialist recommendations

I’m completely deaf in one ear and had another audiometric test at the ETH yesterday for my hearing ear that has somewhat diminished hearing. They have categorized me as needing BiCROS hearing aids.

They will recommend to the IV that I cannot do without them, so apparently IV pays for ‘everything’ - does this imply ‘everything’ of a subsidy or the total cost. Is there a limit?

Also the ETH recommend finding a specialist close to work or home as it’s a learning curve with many expected tweaks and changes.

Does anyone have any experience to share or wisdom to impart with? Can anyone recommend any specialists in the Zurich area?

Many thanks.
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Old 20.08.2019, 11:44
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Re: Hearing Aids - BiCROS and Specialist recommendations

You might want to contact EastEnders on her experience
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Old 20.08.2019, 12:11
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Re: Hearing Aids - BiCROS and Specialist recommendations

Nope, IV does NOT pay for everything......there are limitations

Give me some time and I come up with a post, hopefully informative and covering all your questions.

Am an old hand when it comes to such matters, dealing with teh IV since 1984, getting my first hearing aid the same year..............

I used to be hard of hearing as a kid, lost between my 20's and early 30's almost all my hearing, am tagged 'spätertaubt' which is similar to 'gehörlos' in regards to hearing ability with the difference that I chatter away normally, went to regular school etc and you wouldn't guess my impairment.

Will finish my chores and then start typing
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Old 20.08.2019, 13:47
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Re: Hearing Aids - BiCROS and Specialist recommendations

Thank you so much. It means a lot to me right now. I guess I should ask the mods to change my name to Taubert
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Old 20.08.2019, 16:09
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Re: Hearing Aids - BiCROS and Specialist recommendations

Ok here goes

The thing with the Hearing Aids from IV, is that you get a fixed amount of money towards the aids. The model and make of the aid, is secondary and entirely up to you and YOUR NEEDS. The IV will pay as long as they are within that limit.

Any and all cost, above what the IV grants you towards the aids, you have to pay yourself.

So, the current amount is CHF 840.- for ONE aid and CHF1650.- for TWO aid, this is including fitting, taking a mould and creating Otoplastics and all the cost of the audiologist.

Otoplastics, are the usually clear coloured thingies that fit into your ear and considering from your post, you will most likely get a behind the ear device. Since the models, which you can wear in the ear canal are not as powerful (technical stuff, albeit small, needs space still).

On the other hand, if you choose a model and make which is cheaper than the granted amount and incl. the cost of the hearing aid audiologist for fitting and 'tuning'; your aid is also below that fixed amount, you can keep the rest of the money the IV paid out.

The first step you already took by getting the appointment and audiometry is super, since you will need a so called 'EXPERTISE' towards the IV from an ENT doc anyway as well as all the documentation of the audiology tests etc.
To apply for help from the IV, you will now have to fill in a 6 page form towards the IV, they want to know quite a lot………..

https://www.ahv-iv.ch/de/Merkbl%C3%A...ne-Hilfsmittel

And be warned, it is commonplace that it can take months (sadly), to get anywhere/hear back from the IV..........

Now, if you are in a place like I was and need super strong hearing aids, that cost overall 4’800.-……and you can not pay the surplus.

Then you have an opportunity to make a so called ‘Härtefallgesuch’, you’ll have again to prove that you are not able to cover the additional cost and give them a shedload of info about your finances. Although contrary to me, who was/is ‘just a housewife’, your chances to get the money would look very good, as you’d need the aids to work and keep in work.


Now the matter of having the aids fitted; it is indeed the case that you will have at least 10 appointments with any serious audiologist, especially if this will be your first hearing aid/s.

The fitting in regard to the physical stuff is small change, more importantly is to find the model and make of an aid that suit you and covers your needs to a T!

You should be able to try out (for a few days up to a fortnight) several different aids. Commonly today the aids can be programmed via wi-fi or cable, where a computer automatically calculates what ‘you should need’ according to your audiometry (hearing test) results.

This automated calculation, of course is often way beyond what you feel comfortable with, this needs really fine tuning.

You will also at first, feel some kind of discomfort, not only may the aids be strange to wear at first, possibly even cause some skin irritation in or above the ears, especially if you wear glasses too.

Imagine, you got used to your life in subdued sounds for a long time and suddenly you hear much more again. This can be an auditory and very uncomfortable overload. Please do persevere wearing the aids, as uncomfortable as it might feel at the beginning. I promise you, you will get used to it and learn to live with it. Your brain needs to adapt and that overload at first, will soon recede and you’ll get to properly benefit of the aids.

Once fitted and fine tuned for general purposes you can then also choose other ‘programmes’ for your aids as options, I for one, have a programme to filter out noise in noisy environments (restaurants) and it really helps.
A well hearing person has an ability called ‘selektives Gehör’ sometimes it is also called ‘Cocktailpartygehör’, this describes the ability of a well hearing person to filter out themselves noises that are not important.

Hearing impaired people wearing aids, haven’t got that ability anymore, without the programme everything comes into your ear in the same volume and this is why, in olden days it was really painful for me to be amongst a crowd of nattering people……

I can underline how you get used to it, by my own experiences, when I got my last aids fitted about 3 years ago, the old ones being 10 yrs of age and ‘kaputt’. Well, leaving the audiologist after the first fitting, I drove my car through town to get to a DIY store, on the way thinking: “ Drat, my car is broken, there is all the time a ticking sound!”……………………

Well, yours truly, for the first time in about 15 or more years, heard the indicatior light sound, but couldn’t properly identify it

Also, for the first 5-6 weeks with those superstrong aids, I was able to hear music again. Well they way as I perceive it anyway (mostly only the drums and basslines, the rest I fill in from the jukebox in my brain, hence why my limited taste in music )

This is where the ‘schooling’ you mention comes into play, you will hear sounds with the aids and have no clue what they are…

Is it a screeching child or a car that slammed on the brakes (possibly dangerous situation for you ), is the persistent vibrating noise somebody that uses a drill or a lorry behind you….and so on and so forth.

Some of that you can learn yourselves, some you will need the help of the audiologist. I never did any schooling of the kind, only heard of it, as my loss is too big now and I get by with 90% lipreading and 10% sounds via aids.

The schooling also is important as the aids will give you like a 3D hearing again, helping with your spatial orientation as well as maybe being able to identify from which direction a sound comes.


As for an audiologist, with Amplifon I have made very good experiences here in Belp (can't speak for ZH) and so far, really happy with all their service.

Before when living in Biel, I was for over 30 years with a small hubby and wife run audiologists’ shop, and in comparison, Amplifon now is cheaper and I am much happier with them.
I do hope you might get more recommendations.


Now I hope my gibberish is not to bad as I typed this in haste.....feel free to ask any and all question you might have, either here or via PM to me.

I might, occasionally, not be able to answer immediately, but answer I will always!!
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Old 20.08.2019, 21:38
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Re: Hearing Aids - BiCROS and Specialist recommendations

Thank you so much for your post, it's helpful and funny! I can say that because I'm deaf

I've been going to the ETH ENT for years now and kind of have direct access as I lost my hearing to a brain tumour that should have been bilateral. I was lucky in my misfortune and only had it occur on one side.

The eardrum in my good ear keeps bursting and over time has weakened and my hearing has deteriorated. I can hear 100 from 80db up, but at 50db my hearing drops to 50%.

Having SSH has always been challenging, social circumstances are stressful so I avoid loud places. To top it off my brain activity indicates that my Cingulate system never shuts down so I'm constantly alert and stressed. I've learned to stand still when a bicycle approaches me from behind because I can't tell what side it's passing me on and things like that. I'm sure you know how it is. Constantly planning life around the good ear, where to sit at a table, which side to walk with someone and then they think you're odd. Then there's meeting someone who's deaf on the same side, now that's a whole new battle for optimized auditory dominance.

Anyway, they have a rich history of my audiometry.

After the extended hearing test which included the usual beeps, there followed a speech test. Then I saw the ENT and he categorized me as 3. Massiv Asymmetrie der Hörschwellen and recommended BiCROS for me to try.

This last visit was initiated by the IV as I sent in an application a couple of months ago and this was the result. The ENT has now sent me packing with and IV info pack for hearing aid help and the Journal für Antrag auf Prüfung einer Härtfallregelung bei Hörgeräteversorgungen.

Seemingly I am to find an auditory specialist of my choice close to work or home and start testing systems.

A friend of mine got hearing aids that are amazing. The are calibrated through an App that can optimize, as you mentioned, a room for conversation, like in a restaurant it will cut out background noise. It can also be trained to pick up and optimize one voice, say one's significant other.

I'm certainly not on hard times so will not spare anything when it comes to this. I'll not shy away from kick ass aids if they really have something to offer.

Being able to hear from the right would be a real game changer for me. The prospect of not having to pretend I heard and wing an answer (and there have been some strange answers from me) is exciting. I've resisted this for some time now but I look forward to hearing again.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for your valuable input.
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Old 20.08.2019, 22:42
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Re: Hearing Aids - BiCROS and Specialist recommendations

I'd like to add something from the perspective of a normal hearer, knowing some people who are hearing impaired.

You can compensate by choosing to walk or sit on the correct side, as you mention above, and by sitting opposite the person you want to hear, etc.. And by going to all the effort decribed above, about hearing aids and training. Beyond that, you can't possibly "try harder" if you simply can't hear. So the rest of the compensation MUST be done by the other people around you. We must try harder, since we can.

We can, however, do so only if we know the need. It has really helped me whenever a friend Came Out and told me of their disability.

That way, I could learn to look at them when I'm speaking, not to expect them to know what I said when I'm standing looking into the fridge or as they are leaving the room. Knowing why they had missed what I'd said helped me to know that it wasn't because they were just ignoring me. Altogether both they and I felt much less irritated after that.

Knowing what, exactly, they won't hear, and knowing what enables them to get what I'm saying, empowers me to change my behaviour.

For someone who hears better on one side than the other, it can help those around you if you teach them a mnemonic, but please make it not just "the right side's alright" or "the right side's not right", but rather a phrase that's personal to you, attached to your name or an attribute of your person. This is in case they know more than one hearing-impaired person.

Last edited by doropfiz; 21.08.2019 at 07:26.
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Old 21.08.2019, 07:31
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Re: Hearing Aids - BiCROS and Specialist recommendations

Thank you for your awareness. I've never shied away from letting people know I'm deaf and a half. Partners, family and close friends, people who we spend meaning periods of time with become and stay aware.

If I'm not looking directly at you, one could make a fairly safe assumption that I never heard you. I lip read in order to assist myself, i'm not trained in it and it's just something that inadvertently happened. In larger social groups though it's not really fair to expect people to center themselves around you and if they forget then it's OK. I have thought of hanging an out-of-order sign over my ears :-)

I have to shoulder some blame for not making a social effort, until now I've been in denial about needed aids. So I avoid conversation sometimes, often to spare the other person from me constantly saying 'pardon me?', 'Noch einmal bitte', 'sorry what was that', 'can you repeat yourself' - all the while cupping my ear and rotating my head. It's almost become a reflex, by default ask for repetition.

My other half knows though when I'm winging it.


I forgot to mention, Eastenders, I think the one prerequisite I might have is that the batteries are rechargeable. I've heard that then battery life for hearing aids is very short.
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Old 22.08.2019, 14:26
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Re: Hearing Aids - BiCROS and Specialist recommendations

My life on deaf row is so similar, if not exactly the same, as yours!

You cannot begin to imagine how good this feels for me, to hear (HA HA) from someone in the same boat. I am allowing myself to deviate a little from the original query, for the sake of (hopefully) some funny reading and exchange of experiences made.

In regard to winging it and just nodding like a demented monkey and saying any kind of platitude or mumbled comment, to give the interpretation that I follow what is said.......I am a world champion several times over.

Quite a few times I chuckled reading your account on interaction with people, like you I never took any courses in lipreading, I just can do it in a few languages.

I’ve blue eyes and I was often told that my look can be somewhat piercing, especially if I am concentrating to lipread, I am by no means an evil person with an evil glare, that is reserved for those that deserve the “Mammy stare”!

Nowadays, people are not used to be looked straight at.

I am looking directly at them to try and understand what they say, they in turn get very insecure because of ‘my stare’, start to look away, hold their hand/s in front of their mouth and so on. GAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!


Another bugbear of mine are tellers in a bank, post office, just generally many counter personnel. You are standing in front of them, with a perfunctory nod, they show you they are ready for you, tho’ they keep on staring into their computer but talk to you at the same time, so you have to become a contortionist to try and see their face and lipread. GNAAARRRFFFFF!!

Even if you tell them BEFORE, you’re deaf and would they please look at you when talking to you, there are still some “ignorant specialists” .
For example they want to explain something to you…say a chart or map…they start chattering away, at the same time pointing at the chart/map and you have to develop the art to squint outwards to be able to follow with one eye their lips as well as what they point at on the chart/map with the other eye, AT THE SAME FRIGGIN’ TIME!!

Nowadays, I quite shy away from social gatherings that include more than 2-3 people at once, in particular strangers. I’ve to learn HOW they speak including their mimic/dialect etc to be able to lipread well. Even if you tell beforehand, that you are profoundly deaf and they try to really pay attention to how they speak, it remains a very tiresome process.

There are a few Ef’ers around that met me and can testify that I talk 13 to the dozen, the hindlegs off a donkey and spout words like an AK47 on rapid fire all at the SAME time.

Basically, this is a kind of defence mechanism, as long as it is me that does the talking……I don’t have to listen, so the chance of misunderstandings, tiredness and the like is minimized.

Nowadays, I have become quite a bit of a hermit, but at the same time I am happy too.

I love my life in silence, to not be at the beck and call of a phone, to switch off all the outside noise by taking out my aids, to end an argument by simply looking away; a luxury no good hearing person can have. This is unique to us!
Despite the many limitations, this handicap brings with it, I count my blessings.

I was already very hard of hearing when I had my 3 rugrats...imagine when you’ve got about a meter of anger and frustration standing in front of you, demanding in no uncertain terms to follow THEIR want and whims NOW…... in other words temper tantrums.

Well, when I felt that all calm reasoning and so won’t bear fruit, I demonstratively switched off the aids and took them out for the kid to see.

And lo and behold the tantrum…. Poooofffffff, was over in seconds!

OTOH, when they got older and each developed their very own taste in music, they never had to switch off/turn down the volume of their devices in their rooms, a blessing in disguise for them. Of course, they never listened to their stuff in a way that neighbours got disturbed by the noise!

Well and now over to something completely different……in regard to rechargeable batteries, do you mean just batteries or aids that got a rechargeable accu inbuilt??

My aids run on batteries, just plain normal ones and they last about 2 weeks, although I do NOT wear them when at home, so they might last longer than if the aids would be worn during a working day 5 times a week. The alarm sound in my aids when the batteries are running low, is at the loudest possible setting and I still don’t hear it. ( my deficit is way over 100dB)

I only realise there is no ‘leccy anymore, when suddenly sounds come across to me as if through a big ball of cotton. No prob, taking out aids, change batteries and I am back in the room.

Now if you had the aids that are rechargeable and need a charging station, imagine a social event and your aids suddenly are switching off…..and you can not just change batteries.
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Old 22.08.2019, 14:45
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Re: Hearing Aids - BiCROS and Specialist recommendations

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I was already very hard of hearing when I had my 3 rugrats...imagine when you’ve got about a meter of anger and frustration standing in front of you, demanding in no uncertain terms to follow THEIR want and whims NOW…... in other words temper tantrums.

Well, when I felt that all calm reasoning and so won’t bear fruit, I demonstratively switched off the aids and took them out for the kid to see.

And lo and behold the tantrum…. Poooofffffff, was over in seconds!
Now THAT is power! Very impressive.

Oh, EastEnders, and Traubert, thanks for having the courage to share your experiences with us.
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Old 22.08.2019, 14:49
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Re: Hearing Aids - BiCROS and Specialist recommendations

Having a devil of a time convincing my father back in the US to follow through on all that appears to be required in not only identifying the right device but tailoring it to your needs through return visits/appts. Instead, my father has a sizable collection of different devices he has procured over the last 5 years without many followup visits to fine tune them as he grew frustrated with it failing to deliver on his expectations.

Frustrating
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