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(32 Posts)
Gingster Tue 25-Feb-20 18:17:49

My husband is getting deafer by the day. It’s been deteriorating over the last couple of years . He’s just 70. He refuses to go for a hearing test, saying that hearing aids are useless as we do know lots of people who have them and have been very disappointed with them. NHS and private types. The trouble is it’s driving us all mad, he mishears everything and I have to now shout at him. Our family is getting exasperated with him and the grandchildren think it’s hilarious. I worry that it will isolate him and I’ve heard it can bring on dementia. Any ideas?

silverlining48 Tue 25-Feb-20 19:13:55

Not everyone struggles with aids, my dh has two and wears them every day without problem. Friends also are happy with theirs, I have some but don’t wear mine unfortunately but your first problem is to get him to go fir a hearing test. You could suggest his ears might just need wax removing...
Good luck, I do understand how frustrating it can be.
Not sure it can bring on dementia though......

Charleygirl5 Tue 25-Feb-20 19:16:13

Does one have to go to one's GP first to get a hearing test?

Harris27 Tue 25-Feb-20 19:17:30

I was in this position till last year. My husband who was only 61at the time kept answering wrongly and was constantly saying ‘what’ he went get this Seeing too and now wears two nearing aids and has had no problem with them whatsoever ! Happy marriage!

Grannyjay Tue 25-Feb-20 19:19:27

Deafness is very isolating. If he has never worn hearing aids or tried then I say they can take some getting used to. My dad started wearing his when he retired as my mum refused to put up with his deafness and refusal to wear hearing aids. He said the noise was very distracting as he wasn’t used to it. Slamming drawers, kettles boiling, cutlery drawers and rustling papers. The distractions are endless. I’ve worn them as a child and the NHS ones are basic but have improved from when I wore them. Private hearing aids have more adaptive qualities and can cut background noises to a point. Changing your behaviour from shouting to facing him and talking clearly and not too softly. I don’t hear shouting as it’s usually someone angry or frustrated speaking to you and for the listener it’s very off putting. Only your husband can decide if he wears one and I hope he does but it takes time to get used to them. It also helps to be deafness aware and facing him when you speak. Hopefully he will come round to it as it’s like being cut off from the world without hearing aids but they will never be the same quality as a hearing ambled person.

Harris27 Tue 25-Feb-20 19:19:55

Yes charleygirl5 you have to have a referral from a doctor I was told this and can I just say go to a proper audiologist my husband went to a well known opticians who do hearing tests and was told ‘ just get your wife to speak up’ the audiologists at the hospital were horrified!

evianers Tue 25-Feb-20 20:23:46

Quite shocked to read [whether it is true or not is another matter] that it is the brain, not the ears which is the problem. The longer one leaves not having aids, the less active brain activity - so "they" say. Yesterday went to Salisbury Hospital. Was seen by a charming, personable and helpful audiologist who is actually making personal aids for both my ears. All this on the NHS. Had a private test and the cost was 2195 for the pair. So let's hope they work!

NotTooOld Tue 25-Feb-20 21:00:50

Charleygirl - I think you need to be referred by your GP if you want an NHS hearing test but you don't need that if you just go to Boots or similar. Obviously you do have to pay then, though.

When I went to our GP saying I was deaf, he just clicked his fingers somewhere around my ears and said 'you're not deaf'. I later was told by the practice nurse that my inner ears were blocked with sn*t (lovely) so she couldn't tell if I was deaf or not. Finally, on the recommendation of a friend, I bought some tiny pills from Ainsworths in London and they did the trick, cleared out the inner ear, and now I can hear much better.

kittylester Tue 25-Feb-20 21:29:09

Dh had nhs aids which we have always recommended but he was recommended by the nhs audiologist to try some private ones for his specific type of loss. They seem to be a whole lot better.

Grammaretto Tue 25-Feb-20 21:33:05

Exactly the same here. DH keeps mishearing me and making up ridiculous things I might have said!
He was insisting it was my mumbling and not his hearing until others began to notice so just this week I sent him to ask the nurse to syringe his ears but she found no wax and says the audiologist is the next step.

His father who is 94 has hearing aids and has had all sorts of bother with them but tries to use them. He has no problems understanding and is as sharp as a pin. He walks with a red and white stick now and claims to be both blind and deaf.
It's no fun getting old....

mrswoo Tue 25-Feb-20 22:00:48

In what now seems like another lifetime I worked as a qualified audiologist. I reiterate everything Grannyjay says. Don’t shout at a person with a hearing loss (however tempting it may be!) Shouting distorts the sound and actually can be painful for people with certain types of hearing loss. Also if you shout your facial expressions and mouth shape change and make it harder for the person to understand what you are saying. They are probably lip-reading without realising so it’s best to speak normally, stand in a good light and face the person you are addressing.
Hearing aids are not always suitable for everyone. Not like getting a new pair of glasses where the benefits are pretty much immediate. Some people, especially those with a long-standing hearing loss find suddenly hearing all sorts of sounds again and not just the sounds they want to hear quite difficult to adapt too.
As far as NHS aids go they are vastly improved but waiting lists to see an audiologist can be long. I would suggest trying to get your DH to see an audiologist at somewhere like Specsavers where, even if a hearing loss is found, he would be under no obligation to buy aids from them.
I think that even now, when we are so enlightened about so many taboos, deafness is still seen as something of an embarrassment which prevents people seeking the help they need.
I hope you can persuade your DH to take the first step and at least get his hearing checked. Good luck.

PGAgirl Tue 25-Feb-20 22:06:01

I saw a poster at my local surgery for free hearing test, I made an appointment and was seen at the surgery by an audiologist. My hearing was checked and as myself and my family suspected, I needed two hearing aids. Digital hearing aids were supplied, fitted and adjusted by the audiologist, free by the NHS. I also have batteries posted free to me on a regular basis and any spare parts I need are paid for, excellent service by the NHS.

V3ra Tue 25-Feb-20 22:38:04

My husband was in denial about his deteriorating hearing for years, saying it was me mumbling. Finally when colleagues at work complained he was shouting he went for a test.
He's had NHS hearing aids for a few months, though he doesn't always wear them, with private ones on order now for a bit more sophistication.
Can I just say that I find his poor hearing very isolating, as I have no-one at home to have a conversation with. (He's quite happy to spend the evening nodding off over the crossword).

travelsafar Wed 26-Feb-20 08:01:27

I love my two hearing aids. They fit right inside my ears and are hardly noticed at all. The best thing is i can hear much better now and the biggest bonus is that i cant retreat to my muffled world for some peace and quiet when i take them out!!!! smile

Oldwoman70 Wed 26-Feb-20 08:28:30

I was surprised to be told I needed a doctor's referral for a hearing test. Saw the doctor yesterday and it took all of 5 minutes for him to agree I needed the test. He now has to complete a form and organise a letter to be sent to me so I can arrange an appointment for the test.

I can't help thinking this was a waste of the doctor's time - could this not be done by the practice nurse leaving the doctor free to see patients will a more urgent medical need?

NotSpaghetti Wed 26-Feb-20 08:39:37

Good luck with getting him seen. We all know the potential benefits of aids but I honestly don't know how you can get him to an appointment.

My mother-in-law who hates the idea of "hearing aids" is now wearing them happily after her GP suggested she might like her hearing "augmented"!
In her case it's obviously a perception thing. She went privately and had a very few problems but I know that doesn't really help you.
I wish you luck. It is frustrating when you know there is a likely remedy and your nearest and dearest won't give it a go.

Can you appeal to them "quietly " by telling them how lonely you feel and that you are losing them because it's so hard to have little chats in the evenings when you are sitting together. Tell them what you've told us about your lonely evenings and say you want them back because you miss them and miss the closeness.
Maybe they would give it a go if they knew your sadness rather than your frustration.

aggie Wed 26-Feb-20 08:53:04

I have hearing aids from late last year , they are a great help , especially in a one to one situation and for TV . They do not help as much in a crowd , I was told to expect that and that I will be able to filter out background noise , but this has not happened yet
However I wear them all day everyday and am glad I got them , I did get them from an audiologist at the local Optician , friend has NHS ones and finds them good too

TwiceAsNice Wed 26-Feb-20 08:54:28

I would go and have his ears checked by the practice nurse first in case they are full of wax. This is problem for me as apparently I make too much and have a smaller than usual ear opening. I use drops for a week about twice a year and then have my ears syringed and the difference afterwards is amazing, the world is turned up! I had a hearing test before I did this regularly and the audiologist said my hearing was well within normal limits. Well worth checking before you go down the hearing aids route

H1954 Wed 26-Feb-20 08:59:23

This must be really frustrating for you! I agree with other comments, get him to see his GP for a referral for a hearing test. It might just be that his ear canals are really blocked and need a professional 'clean'. This is painless. OH is obviously listening to very negative opinions on hearing aids so do try to convince him to see his GP. Good luck

Franbern Wed 26-Feb-20 09:08:34

I have never understood why it is perfectly fine to require and wear aids for seeing, but somehow an embarrassment for the same with hearing. In fact, loss of hearing can be far more difficult to cope with.
Many years ago, I can remember persuading my Dad to get a hearing aid, when my first born was starting to speak - but asking him if he wanted to be able to talk to his grandson. mind you the NHS ones, back then, were not very good, often whistled, not behind the ear, etc. But still better than nothing.
I have required hearing aids for 15 or 16 years - always NHS. In that time, I have seen them get better, more controllable and smaller. Most people I meet do not even know I am wearing them (in both ears). When I get new ones, I always give myself a good fortnight to allow my brain to catch up with their increased efficiency and to learn to cut out extravaneous noise.
When I moved house, I had to 'start again' with my new GP (evidently they cannot just transfer over such records between hospital trusts). This GP made arrangement for an audiology test at Specsavers. Was rather concerned about this as had always been at hospital audiology in London. Sent off the letter, and they phoned me to make an appointment. This was later November last year - so got out my 2020 diary expecting it to be a good couple of months, but they made the appointment for the following week. Excellent service there, full hearing test, and new aids.

BlueSky Wed 26-Feb-20 09:34:44

I realised I was losing my hearing when I got to my middle sixties which was confirmed by an audiology test in Boots. I was shown tiny invisible hearing aids but considering the price and the fact that I was shortly to retire, I no longer deemed them essential. My hearing is more than enough for normal day to day interaction with other people, in fact I can't stand loudness. I put the subtitles on when watching TV.

Calendargirl Wed 26-Feb-20 10:07:38

My DH sounds like many others. He is ok with the tv, normal sound, but it is conversations, especially at group things and social events. He often answers out of context because it’s what he thinks has been said, then gets cross if I intercept him!
Definitely going to get him a hearing test booked, as I tell him, if they say his hearing is ok......
but they won’t.

luluaugust Wed 26-Feb-20 16:19:49

NotTooOld can I ask what you ordered from Ainsworths for your blocked ears?

NotTooOld Wed 26-Feb-20 17:23:48

luluaugust - it's Pulsatilla Hydrastis Kali Bich. A friend who knows about these things recommended it. Ainsworths are very helpful if you phone them and ask them to recommend.

Franbern Wed 26-Feb-20 17:53:03

Bluesky - if you have any hearing loss, then why not get your GP to send you for an NHS audiology test, and if you require them they will supply and service your hearing aids, for no cost to you