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AIBU?

Anyone else been told hearing aids won't work?

79 replies

HannahHut · 03/10/2018 08:15

Hi, I was wondering if anyone else was in the same position?

I have hearing loss at low frequencies but not high, as a result my hearing has been impacted but I will been told hearing aids won't help and it's something I just have to love with.

To be honest I was quiet upset, I just wanted something to help me hear better as I am missing out on group conversations and so on which is difficult for me.

Has anyone else been told they are unable to be helped with their hearing loss?

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DeadZed · 03/10/2018 11:17

I just wanted to sympathise with you Hannah

I have a profound hearing loss in one ear and mild loss in the other. I lost my hearing when I was 32 so still quite young. Hearing aids do help me a little but they're definitely not a cure all for hearing loss. Situations like crowded or noisy places are still really difficult for me and I regularly miss out on what people are saying. Often there comes a point when the effort if listening is too much and I mentally switch off!

There is support out there for people with hearing loss. The hearing link website is excellent. They run a helpline, befriending service, adapting to hearing loss courses and there is other stuff in their website.

The national association of lip-readers may be useful to you although in the class I joined the average age was approx 70 so I did struggle but I also learned some useful techniques.

It could be worth returning to your GP and asking for a second opinion.

Sadly the situations where you struggle most are the same for all people with some form of hearing loss and hearing aids are not as helpful as people think. They amplify every sound so it becomes very difficult to pick out the voice you want to hear. Saying that I do think you should be given the option if trying some.

On an emotional level I found it very difficult to accept that my hearing was damaged and I think it is normal to go through a period of mourning while you adjust.

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purpleme12 · 03/10/2018 11:28

Yes I struggle even with hearing aids.
And I agree my mum often says never mind or just doesn't repeat herself I find it disrespectful. Why would you do that

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Noodledoodlefan · 03/10/2018 11:33

I find it helps to tell new people that I have hearing loss when I meet them. They are almost always understanding and helpful about this.
It stops them trying to have a conversation whilst walking away from me. They are more likely to face me and make eye contact
It also helps , say in a restaurant , to choose a seat with a wall behind you.

One of my pet hates is lack of subtitles on TV. I can’t follow programmes without them.

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purpleme12 · 03/10/2018 11:37

I have the subtitles on now and it's extremely rare to not be any on a programme. Subtitles are hard on live television though I've noticed that!

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SarahH12 · 03/10/2018 11:50

I think OP the biggest thing that has helped me is learning to not be as self conscious and to be quite vocal when I'm struggling to here, especially at work. I do tend to give up in certain social situations though. Even though I wear a hearing aid and I too have mild-moderate loss but with a tendency towards high frequency loss, it still doesnt help in noisy situations.

Apologies if you've already said, are you working? If so it's definitely worth applying to access to work to see if you can get any equipment to help.

Have a chat with action on hearing loss too (used to be RNID). They've been brilliant with helping me figure out what equipment would help, providing deaf awareness training for my colleagues etc.

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SarahH12 · 03/10/2018 11:52

Oh and yes it's totally normal to feel emotional about losing your hearing. I went through a phase of being really sad about it. Especially as I thought it would be something easily solved (I thought maybe wax build up or something) and then that hearing aids don't actually restore full hearing which I didn't know before.

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Toddlerteaplease · 03/10/2018 12:14

Would it be worth exploring if you would be eligible for a cochlear implant?

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HannahHut · 03/10/2018 12:25

I am working in a call center! They won't provide me with a special headset until after I bring a letter in hence me just having another hearing test.

I think I was just sad that the only thing that would help is doing what I'm already doing and wasn't even offered to try alternatives like a hearing aid in my worse ear or something like that.

I do explain to people I have hearing loss but they either forget or they still don't seem too interested in modifying how they speak i.e repeating or not covering their mouth.

And then I start to second guess myself thinking well maybe it's not as bad because I've not been offered anything but they have confirmed hearing loss and I personally know how bad it is. Just a pain really.

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purpleme12 · 03/10/2018 12:36

What kind of headset is it? What does it do?

If you just get the hospital to do a letter saying you've got hearing loss that might work for them

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HannahHut · 03/10/2018 12:44

Just with a microphone to talk to customers, once I give them a letter they'll order me one with two ear things.

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purpleme12 · 03/10/2018 13:07

Oh I see wow I don't think you should have to get a letter just for a two ear one!

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HannahHut · 03/10/2018 13:29

I thought that too but apparently they cost more and have to ordered in special. They have a letter because otherwise everyone would want one.

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SabineUndine · 03/10/2018 13:33

I would go back and insist on trying them. DO NOT go private, there's nothing that you can get privately that you can't get for free on the NHS, assuming that you are in the UK. Hearing loss is a funny thing, very individual. If it was a GP that told you they wouldn't help, insist on a referral to an audiologist. If it was an audiologist, ask for hearing therapy (this is about practical things that you can to help you deal with a hearing loss).

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purpleme12 · 03/10/2018 13:37

I think that's a bit stupid. I think they're being difficult, your work. If people start asking they can just say it's to do with hearing loss! If it's literally just 2 ears I can't see how they'd be loads more anyway

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BearFoxBear · 03/10/2018 13:48

Hi OP, I understand why you are upset. I have high frequency hearing loss in one ear, it happened in my mid twenties and I was devastated. I'm in my 40s now and while I cope, hearing aids are no use for me. I got a new one recently after going without for years and its pointless, even more problematic in a way.

You will get there. I know it's shit, but tell people, make them repeat themselves if necessary, and be honest about lip teading, or even giving weird responses when you've misheard someone! I've just staryed a new job and am having to do this with my team - its a pain but necessary!

Hang in there.

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SarahH12 · 03/10/2018 14:08

That's awful work won't do anything until you get the letter. Honestly don't go private. About the only thing private offers that NHS currently doesn't is Bluetooth but that won't help in your situation. If they're not offering you aids, it really will be because they won't help. Aids can only help as much as your hearing lets them.

@BearFoxBear can I ask why you find the aids more problematic? Sometimes I do too and thought it was just me, or that maybe my hearing isn't that bad and I shouldn't have aids.

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purpleme12 · 03/10/2018 14:10

Sometimes you can get a shit hospital though. Not saying that's the case here I'm not an expert. But the first hospital I went to were shit. Thankfully I moved cities and they could offer me way more

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SarahH12 · 03/10/2018 14:23

Yes that's a good point @purpleme12 and it's also down to the Audiologists interpretation of the results so even two Audiologists in the same hospital may offer a different way of managing the loss. For example it's possible I may have ended up with a different type of hearing aid had I seen a different person. I'm studying hearing / hearing aids in my spare time as an OCN / OU module so do have a little bit of knowledge in the area as well as my own personal experience.

OP do Specsavers still offer free hearing tests? If so it may be worth popping in and having a chat with them. If they think hearing aids would help then you could go back to GP and ask to be re-referred.

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pacer142 · 03/10/2018 14:24

Personally, if available in your area, I'd get your GP to refer you to Specsavers instead of the audiology department.

I got my first hearing aids through the audiology at our local hospital and it was a real pain in the arse - an appointment in town A for the hearing test (several weeks after seeing the GP), then an outpatient appt with the consultant in town B a few weeks later, then an appointment for a fitting back in town A a couple of months later and then a final adjustment/review 6 weeks after that. All in all, about 6 months and 4 different appointments - all of course at their convenience with the usual stroppy receptionist if I even dared so much as to ask for a different date/time! And they still didn't really help - as others have said, just amplify background noise too, so you end up no better off in busy places. To be honest, I just gave up and stopped wearing them - neither use nor ornament where it really mattered.

Now, 3 years later, (NHS will do a re-check and issue new aids after 3 years), I went back to GP for the referral to try again, and he suggested Specsavers instead so he gave me a referral to them instead. I made an appointment for the following week. Everything was done at the same single appointment - literally walked out with the new aids fitted. Completely different sound and feel from them and they seemed to be a lot better at helping to differentiate different types of sound. Went back once for a slight adjustment and it was very quick and easy - straight in and straight out - none of this waiting for weeks for an appointment nonsense.

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saturdaynightgin · 03/10/2018 14:29

I feel your frustration OP. I have what’s called a cookie bite hearing loss (it’s genetic) so I can hear most high and low frequencies, but really struggle with mid range. I’ve had hearing aids from a young age, but I don’t wear them much any more as they amplify the sound, but don’t make it any clearer - i.e. I can hear that someone is talking, but the words are all muffled so i can’t understand unless I’m lip reading. Like a PP, when around friends/family, I tend to stare at their mouths, but in other situations I find that looking away every now and again helps them to be less paranoid. As a teen I was really self conscious and hated admitting when I couldn’t hear, so often missed out on social events etc, but as I’ve got older (28 now) I’ve become more confident and I tell people I can’t hear them.. although still use ‘nod and smile’ if I’ve asked them to repeat 3 times and still don’t know what’s been said Blush.

I think you should speak to your GP about how you’re feeling. They may be able to refer you back or suggest some support groups.

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HannahHut · 03/10/2018 14:44

I do have a Specsavers hearing test for tomorrow that I booked weeks ago (after a mix up with my doctor's about the NHS one). Do you think it's worth going for a second opinion?

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carrielou2007 · 03/10/2018 15:14

Hi, I’m an audiologist and have worked for both NHS and private sector. A lot of what I’ve read on your thread is incorrect so I can help. Do you have a copy of your audiogram I can have a look at? Red circles for right and blue crosses for left and it you write down the number from left side to right (low to high frequency) I can tell you if hearing aids can help.

The NHS will only have a few (often just 3 models for adults, more for paediatrics) models though te models may differ in diff hospitals so there is very little choice. You can walk in to book an appointment in Specsavers but would need the referral from your GP then you select Specsavers through the ‘choose and book’ system. Specsavers are unable to just dispense the NHS aids to you without this process. They can order you aids privately for you with a much wider choice.

I don’t work for Specsavers BTW just know the systems.

Different hearing aids will be better for different types and degrees of losses and can often be using in addition with assistive listening devices or CROS systems. Rarely do I see someone that I can not improve their hearing with hearing systems provided we match the technology with the right level of expectation. There will always be certain environments that will still have limited benefit from hearing aids however ‘expensive’

I will look back later as just had a gap in my clinic and have a 3.15pm appointment due.

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DeadZed · 03/10/2018 15:16

Yes, definitely get a second opinion!

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carrielou2007 · 03/10/2018 15:16

Oops meant to say some of the advice on this thread is incorrect not that you were incorrect Grin

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HannahHut · 03/10/2018 15:42

Carrie I don't but they are in a slope with low frequencies under the line and high frequencies also under the line but not as low under. So sort of like a slope?

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