Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


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?

OP posts:

AlphaBravo · 03/10/2018 15:45

The only option OP is multi setting very expensive hearing aids. I know my cousin just paid £6k for his. He has a little remote to change the 'surroundings' setting for each environment type.

Apart from that, you're pretty buggered with the NHS sadly :(


EvilRingahBitch · 03/10/2018 16:06

Looking at this thread, as a person with some skin in the game, I think that the one thing which would help a lot of people would be some kind of visible symbol that you were a lipreader - a badge or something to flag up “No, I’m not ignoring you when you address me behind my back. No you don’t have spinach in your teeth. Don’t cover your mouth or randomly turn your head or address me from behind the top of your computer screen. If you’re wearing a niqab you may want to ask someone else (or if it has to be me and I’m female, go to a private room). That goes for massive hipster beards as well.” And the awareness to go with it of course but something visible and new automatically attracts curiosity and bitesized pieces in the news so that would be a bonus.

What do people think? Analogous to baby on board badges, notices on guide dog harnesses or the way some people with physical disabilities occasionally carry walking sticks they could manage without as a flag that they need extra consideration.

It would save having to start every single verbal interaction with an explanation that behaviour which would otherwise be fine will need modification.


purpleme12 · 03/10/2018 16:19

I have hearing loss but I don't lip read at all


Aroundtheworldandback · 03/10/2018 16:20

Op have you considered being tested for a Cochlear Implant? It may be that your loss is “not bad enough” yet to qualify on the nhs but it may be a possibility for the future should it deteriorate.

It depends on how much you’re struggling. If your brain is missing out on speech unfortunately it will over time slow down and lose the ability to a certain extent to understand speech. I am only just getting this ability back after a double implant. Please pm me for any (obviously not professional) advice.


whyispeppainthenightgarden · 03/10/2018 16:22

Yes my hearing nerve was. It when I had abs operation so hearing aids won’t help me.


whyispeppainthenightgarden · 03/10/2018 16:22

Was cut


butterfly56 · 03/10/2018 16:40

I feel for you OP very much and being told they cannot help you must be a nightmare.

I also have an NHS hearing test booked for tomorrow with Specsavers.
Asked for referral from GP...used choose and book.

I was given NHS hearing aids at local hospital 3years ago which no longer had any controls them...all had to be adjusted by computer.
My previous ones had controls I could alter myself.

In the Audiology room I could hear ok ish but once I got outside the room I could not hear anything other than background noise.
Waiting time to go back and have them re calibrated was 6months!!

I ordered an hearing amplifier(it looks like a mp3 player with earphones) off amazon...not the most attractive device but it had bass and treble dials and cost me £20!! It has saved my sanity over the past few years.

My hearing has deteriorated a lot over the past 3years and I can no longer hear my own voice unless I shout!!
Cannot hear people talking and they need to be facing me.
need headphones and subtitles for TV.
Cannot hear a car coming or my cars engine running!

I am hoping that Specsavers can do something for you tomorrow.
Even if it's only a letter about your hearing to get the headset you need!

All the best OP and Good Luck for tomorrow Flowers


londonliv · 03/10/2018 18:19

Anyone else get this:
Me: sorry I misheard/didn't hear you, I'm actually partially deaf
Other person: what - ha ha ha

I get this all the time - it drives me bonkers Angry


saturdaynightgin · 03/10/2018 19:25

london Allllll the time. So so so so infuriating Angry


DeadZed · 03/10/2018 19:25

It seems many of us are suffering the same fate of "Oh, it doesn't matter"!

Butterfly I hope you get something useful from your next appointment. It is definitely worth making a nuisance of yourself.

It is a shame that audiology services vary so much across the country. When I first received my cRos aids earlier this year the staff were brilliant. I went back twice for retuning in six weeks.

I agree with Evil I often wish there was some generally accepted sign or indicator that I had a hearing loss and that people knew how to respond. Look at me, get my attention, speak clearly so I can see your mouth and mostly don't shout or treat me like I'm stupid!

The poster who mentioned about your brain forgetting how to interpret sound is correct. When I first lost some hearing nine years ago the hospital offered me one hearing aid but said it wouldn't really help as I had suffered nerve damage. It didn't help and I stopped wearing it after a few months. Fast forward a few years and my hearing deteriorated more. I finally went back to my GP last year and asked to be referred back to audiology. The person who treated me said that I had lost all the hearing in one side and they thought it was probably because I had just given up. They also explained how your brain needs retraining to use aids and this takes months.

If your hearing loss is affecting your social and professional life this much you need to keep asking until you feel you have had everything available to help.


themuttsnutts · 03/10/2018 20:09

I have severe loss in my left ear - rarer 'cookie bite' since contracting a virus in childhood.

In my late 40s now and have mild loss in the better ear, which is more traditional, age related loss.

Boots said left ear aidable. ENT said not. NHS audiologist said, give it a go. It won't give me clarity but will pick up more background noise and help with localisation. If anything, right ear is too mild to aid. ENT was talking about aiding only the right ear.

The thing about the brain forgetting is correct. Apparently, long term loss makes neural pathways go to sleep so it may take time to adjust.

It may be worth popping into Boots as they do free tests and they will be able to offer an opinion


themuttsnutts · 03/10/2018 20:13

Btw, left ear was not correctable in 80s/90s so have managed with one ear since then. Struggling now I have a little loss in good ear


Cobrider · 03/10/2018 20:19

I have just been told exactly the same thing for my 16 year old daughter, high frequency hearing loss and nothing can be done. She is finding it really difficult too.


cookiebite · 04/10/2018 11:28

@carrielou2007 is it that the NHS can only treat a certain number / severity of conditions?

I have cookie bite hearing loss but it's just mild to moderate so NHS wouldn't help me. I appreciate they have limited funds and I am totally fine with that as I'm fortunate enough to have been able to go private but it would have been easy to take the impression that "nothing could be done for your kind of hearing loss" rather than "the NHS doesn't allocate its funds to non-priority cases like yours".

OP have you any possibility of saving up to go private or is that totally out of your reach? Sorry if it's a non-starter but to give you an idea, my hearing aids were £4000 but the audiologist (Bloom Hearing, which I think is a national company/network) had finance options so I'm paying for them monthly over 5 years.

In terms of hearing aids being no good as they just amplify everything, the audiologist did a whizzy thing with a computer to set my aids up so they just amplify the frequencies I can't hear, to fill the "cookie-bite" gap in my audiogram in. I definitely don't suffer from low or high frequencies being over-amplified. I assume this would be possible for all kinds of hearing loss but obviously @carrielou2007 is the one who knows!

Apologies again if it's not possible for you to consider going private but I just wanted to say that I think the technology is probably out there. Flowers hope you get sorted OP.


cookiebite · 04/10/2018 11:29

Sorry I should add, Bloom gave me a week's trial (with the hearing aids set up for my audiogram) before I signed up to get them, to make sure I was happy they worked for me.


SabineUndine · 04/10/2018 11:34

carrielou let me guess, you now work in the private sector? OP the NHS range is chosen to meet everyone’s needs. If you genuinely needed something not available on the NHS you would get it. I say this as someone with an NHS cochlear implant.


Villainelle · 04/10/2018 11:42

OP would not be considered for referral for a Cochlear implant. They are only for profound hearing loss.


purpleme12 · 04/10/2018 11:50

That's what I thought too


themuttsnutts · 04/10/2018 11:56

Yes and in both ears


staffiegirl · 04/10/2018 12:08

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SnowyF · 04/10/2018 16:10

If you genuinely needed something not available on the NHS you would get it.

This is simply not true. I've worked for a HA manufacturer that supplies NHS and private sector. NHS do have good hearing aids available (typically mid range) but can not supply the best technology, due to budgets and supply chain options. They also don't have access to all manufacturers who often have differing strengths. They also don't have the TIME to support with aftercare and make the fine tune adjustments that can so often be needed as hearing is subjective as well as objective. Typically you need a number of follow up appointments and a lot of NHS departments just can't provide this regularly. Some NHS departments will also only fit one aid due to budget constraints. Or none at all for mild losses.

I've also come across many audiologists who are clinically very knowledgeable but struggle to get to grips with using the software and technical features and will just do a basic fit. Particularly if it's not a manufacturer they've had much experience in. I've also come across some really rubbish audiologists full stop.

I would always encourage a second opinion if you're not happy with your initial provider. Most private sector companies will offer free tests, no obligation free trials and various finance options.

I must point out I no longer work in the industry so get no benefit for recommending private sector options.


carrielou2007 · 04/10/2018 16:42

How did you get on today OP??

I remember one of the hospitals I worked at when we had the digital trial with several different styles and models think that was in about 2001? Another hospital I think was in 2003/4 but had different models which are still the same NHS are fitting now (it’s a slightly newer version). The NHS do have to have a certain criteria and so I am wondering if when OP was told no hearing aids would help it may be due to the degree. It sounds as if it is more so the low frequencies (generally has to be at least 4 frequencies with a 35 dbHL loss or a minimum 35dbHL average over all frequencies. If the loss is less than this or as a PP has said with their cookie bite loss the benefit you get from these certain tones is often perceived to be very little compared to wearing the aids, cleaning them, how you feel about them and for certain losses physically wearing the aids occluded the naturally good hearing you have so the technology has to either try to overcome this so it won’t be as natural as we would like, or it outweighs the benefits you do get. So not always a nothing can be done so to speak.

I can promise you without a shadow of a doubt there are only s few models the NHS can provide you with. Some manufacturers will turn certain features off on the software based on the NHS protocols so the aids can not be programmed with certain factors that could help. The aids may look the same as if you were to buy them privately but either the chip inside will be different or the software will not allow the aids to be programmed with these features.

Your employer does have an obligation to help and as a PP mentioned action for hearing loss (used to be RNID) can be s great source for equipment that work may be able to provide you with.

Hearing loss is often seen as funny by other people who really do not have any idea how difficult it can make everyday tasks, the frustration and often the isolation it can cause. Nothing at all funny about that. I’m VI, I’m blind in one eye partially sighted in the other and since it happened i’ve had to find ways around things particularly st work. People are very sympathetic when they find out, I wish they would be as sympathetic and considerate to hard or hearing and people who are deaf GrinGrinGrin


carrielou2007 · 04/10/2018 16:43

Oops sorry crap eyesight distinct lack of paragraphs there Grin


butterfly56 · 04/10/2018 16:46

@DeadZed I had my hearing test with Supersavers today and I was really pleased and hopeful about how things went.
I asked loads of questions all answered very patiently and I felt the test was very thorough.

I have been diagnosed with the same as you @staffiegirl Bilateral sensorineural at severe to profound level. I get my new hearing aids next Friday. The audiologist said they should help a lot which made me feel a lot better.

I hope you have had a positive outcome as well today @HannahHut


SnowyF · 04/10/2018 16:53

I can promise you without a shadow of a doubt there are only s few models the NHS can provide you with. Some manufacturers will turn certain features off on the software based on the NHS protocols so the aids can not be programmed with certain factors that could help. The aids may look the same as if you were to buy them privately but either the chip inside will be different or the software will not allow the aids to be programmed with these features.

Totally agree with this and as previously stated I used to work for a manufacturer

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?