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Any hearing experts/audiologists? I need help understanding an audiogram

34 replies

AwkwardAsAllGetout · 14/09/2020 12:31

I’m hoping if I post a picture of my audiogram someone can help me understand what it means. I’m a bit overwhelmed as I was expecting to be told I just had blocked ears but in fact I’ve been told I need hearing aids. They’re eye wateringly expensive but the difference when I tried them was amazing. I can’t really remember a lot of what was said at my appointment as I found it all so unexpected. Would anyone help me understand my degree of hearing loss and just how super duper I have to go with the hearing aids? The ones they’ve recommended are £2000. I don’t know if this is simply because they’re bells and whistles ones, or if I actually NEED them to be they good iyswim. Will post a picture once the baby asleep on me wakes up (it’s imminent!)

OP posts:
AwkwardAsAllGetout · 14/09/2020 12:52


Any hearing experts/audiologists? I need help understanding an audiogram
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Soubriquet · 14/09/2020 12:55

The charts are showing that you can hear certain sounds, but others are not picked up and that’s why it’s dropped down in to the severe/profound category

Was this done on the NHS? If so they should be providing a hearing aid.

I have severe hearing loss and I wear a hearing aid.

Balaur · 14/09/2020 12:58

Private hearing aids are extortionate! I have severe hearing loss and have digital NHS aids which are fine, though if money were no object I'd definitely go bells and whistles (and hopefully be able to hear them too Wink)
Why not try NHS aids initially and see how you get on?

ChoccyJules · 14/09/2020 13:04

There’s a link here which may help and that site should also have other info you may want to read:

The audiogram would mean you miss a lot of mid to high frequency information which will make speech harder to understand.

As the previous OP says, and it’s explained in this link, the NHS can provide a number of types of hearing aid which may help just as much as a private one. Sometimes people go private because they want an invisible (in the ear) aid, however with a significant loss you can find these are useless due to feedback issues.

Hopefully an audiologist will be along soon who can answer more specific questions. But yes, as you saw from your appointment, aids will help that hearing loss.

AwkwardAsAllGetout · 14/09/2020 13:04

@Balaur this was my thought too tbh. It was a private test, it hadn’t even occurred to me to go to my GP about my hearing as I’ve had blocked ears before and they did absolutely nothing about it. Can I actually get hearing aids on the NHS? Day to day I thought I could hear fine so wouldn’t expect to get free hearing aids as I’ve managed without, but with them was a revelation. I have difficulty following fast talking on TV (big problem as a fan of ER and the West Wing Grin) and hearing my phone ring. The ones they’ve recommended can connect directly to my phone and tv to stream sound straight to my ear, and I won’t lie the thought of that is great. I’m just so nervous about spending so much on something so delicate that I’m still not 100% sold on the need for.

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Soubriquet · 14/09/2020 13:06

The ones they’ve recommended can connect directly to my phone and tv to stream sound straight to my ear

Wow! I’ve never heard of them. I currently have a digital hearing aid and it’s served me well. I don’t think I could justify spending £2000 on a hearing aid though.

I use subtitles on tv and I email/text where I can.

Balaur · 14/09/2020 13:10

Yes you can get them on the NHS. It looks like you have high frequency loss (like me). Did they suggest what might have caused it? Ask your gp to refer you to your NHS hearing and balance clinic (or equivalent) and they'll test again and fit you with nhs aids. It does take some time to get used to aids, i remember thinking sound was "robotic" at first. I can't manage without them now but my hearing has deteriorated a bit since I was diagnosed (I was about 31/2, so 13 years ago.)

Balaur · 14/09/2020 13:11

and yes I'd love aids that connect to my phone or the TV! That's definitely only within the private aids sphere though Grin

AwkwardAsAllGetout · 14/09/2020 13:12

@Soubriquet they were incredibly impressive, unfortunately with a price to match. Called Marvel something or other (I remember because I thought dh would be impressed Grin) They we’re pretty much invisible too. But I feel like I’m having a ridiculous identity crisis. I’m in my mid 30s and the last 5 or so years have been ridiculously tough health wise, I had multiple miscarriages before having dd, which was a very difficult pregnancy and she in turn was a difficult baby. I feel old before my time and this feels like confirmation that I’m slowly crumbling. Which is a ridiculous reaction I know, but I’m still shocked to have been told I need something like this. Should I speak to my doctor and say I’ve already had a hearing test? Would they be able to refer me to a hearing specialist? Do I even warrant that?

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Nanya · 14/09/2020 13:12

Audiologist here- your hearing loss is quite typical as to what I see day to day. With this hearing you will not hear the softer consonants in speech ('s', 'th', 'f' ) sounds as well as you hear stronger vowels ('o', 'a'). So that's why the majority of people with hearing like yours will complain that 'everybody mumbles'. I like to describe it as trying to read a book with half the consonants missing, if you have context and time you could probably work out what is being said. The volume is there but the clarity is lacking.

E.g. ' ary ad a li le lam' looks hard to read but if I tell its the start of a nursery rhyme you may then work it out as 'Mary had a little lamb'

NHS hearing aids are fantastic, much of the technology is on par with private (manufacturers will obviously reserve their highest spec for the private market but equally lower spec aids compared to the NHS ones are available privately too). I would advise you try NHS first, then if its not ticking all the boxes for you then start to explore private options. Just be aware that due to covid backlogs there might be a bit of a wait in some areas for NHS tests and fittings. The newest NHS aids that were released a couple of months ago seem to be getting a great response from the majority of our patients, its quite exciting (for a sad audio like me!Grin) I hope that helps.

Nanya · 14/09/2020 13:15

To add, I think most if not all NHS aids are now Bluetooth compatible and can link to phone, TV etc. They would use the same accessories as the private ones too, at least that's true of the manufacturers I'm most familiar with.

AwkwardAsAllGetout · 14/09/2020 13:15

Thanks so much for all this, it helps. @Balaur, they didn’t say what would have caused it. I started having hearing issues when I was pregnant (I have a 17 month old) when I had to start wearing ear plugs due to my husbands awful snoring, which caused my ears to block up with wax. Then dd was born and she was a terribly difficult baby, constant screaming day and night which we eventually worked out were down to allergies, but she has a very difficult temperament still. I didn’t admit this to the audiologist as tbh it didn’t occur to me at the time but since my appointment I’ve been wondering if this is my fault. I spent my twenties dealing with various eating disorders which I’m now thinking could have caused these problems. I’m suffering with my back and joints, again since pregnancy, which I’m also kind of blaming on that too. It feels like it all coming home to roost.

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Balaur · 14/09/2020 13:17

Wow @Nanya I wasn't aware of that! Can I ask for an update on my aids do you think? I currently have Phonak Nathos Auto SP. I think I've had them a couple of years.

Balaur · 14/09/2020 13:19

@AwkwardAsAllGetout I asked because I was diagnosed with otosclerosis when my dd was a toddler. Pregnancy can accelerate it. It's when the little vibrating bones in your ear sort of harden up. There is an op for it though I've never been tempted as I also have 'inner ear' hearing loss.

Dandelionz · 14/09/2020 13:22
AwkwardAsAllGetout · 14/09/2020 13:25

@Balaur I’ll have to have a read up of that, I remember he said it was inner ear loss I had. Tbh the pregnancy seemed to do me in on many fronts, I’m still not physically well really, my hips far too often still get too loose and painful. The Phonak brand rings a bell, I think that’s what I’m talking about. That would be good if I could get them on the nhs, they were not at all like the hearing aids I was imagining I’d have to wear. Should I make it clear to whoever I speak to next that this did all start in pregnancy?

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Nanya · 14/09/2020 13:26

@Balaur its possible you might get an update but it might depend on when you were last tested. In my area we are only supposed to reasses every 3 years. Some places might be under restrictions that they can only fit new aids if the current aids are no longer suitable i.e. hearing hasn't changed much. But the rules vary based on the CCGs I'm afraid. Some places might allow a new assessment/aids sooner than that if they receive a new GP referral, but that's could be seen as being a bit sneaky!

Bobojangles · 14/09/2020 13:28

I have mild high frequency hearing loss,your hearing is much worse than mine!

I've worn NHS hearing aids for 5 years (I'm in my early 30s) most people don't realise, they are very small and discreet. I can of course function without them but they give me clarity and make day to day life less effort.

£2000 is bonkers! And presumably you'll be paying for batteries, maintenance etc. Get an NHS referral! I've attached a pix of one of my aids so you can see how small it is

Any hearing experts/audiologists? I need help understanding an audiogram
Balaur · 14/09/2020 13:29

It's worth mentioning, definitely. Usually when they test your ears, part of it is a bone conduction test (,prob not quite the right name!) But basically it involves transmitting sound through the bone/skull behind your ear and measuring how well you can hear that- if it's better than 'through the ear' so to speak, it can indicate otosclerosis. In my original test he used a tuning fork for this part of the hearing test!

Balaur · 14/09/2020 13:31

Thanks @Nanya that makes sense. I think it's too soon since I received my current aids.

AwkwardAsAllGetout · 14/09/2020 13:33

@Bobojangles that looks just like the one I tried. @Balaur he did do that as part of the test, I think one of the charts shows this. I thought I could hear slightly better when he did that part of the test, but I don’t know if the results bear that out

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janetmendoza · 14/09/2020 13:38

Seriously go to the nhs. Don't consider private as a first option. If for some reason the nhs aids do not meet your needs by all means go private after you have tried the nhs. Nhs audiology is in most instances a fabulous service!

Bobojangles · 14/09/2020 14:12

Oh and when my hearing loss was first identified in my 20s I was also referred to the ent consultant by the audiologist because of my age

Mine is due to nerve damage and has probably always been there, but I imagine they'd also refer you and help identify a cause

AwkwardAsAllGetout · 14/09/2020 14:35

Just been ridiculously upset by the doctors receptionist. When I said I’d had a hearing test and would like to be referred as i need Hearing aids she said that I should just buy them as Covid has pretty much shut the local hospitals for referrals, like I was stupid for even asking. There are incredibly few cases in our area. After asking her to clarify that I couldn’t be referred, she told me to call back in the morning to speak to the nurse practitioner. Clearly not going to be as easy as I’d hoped

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Canyouseewhyichangedmynamw · 14/09/2020 14:44

Oh that’s horrid of the receptionist.

However if and when you call back, I wouldn’t mention the private tests..... there’s some treatments the NHS won’t cover if they know you’ve started private care. I could be wrong but I wouldn’t chance it!

Just say you’ve had very blocked ears and you’ve noticed you can’t hear certain things.

Good luck!

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