Doctors Cannot Always Predict the Benefit of Hearing Aids

On more than one occasion, I have had a patient come to me in one of the Gardner Audiology offices, telling me that a doctor told them a hearing aid would not help them hear better. After checking their hearing, I find one ear to be severely impaired with reduced speech understanding. My opinion on this type of hearing loss is: if there is no medical reason preventing hearing aid trial, I believe a hearing aid should be offered on trial and let the patient decide if there is enough benefit to purchase.

On two separate occasions in the past year, I have fitted a hearing aid on such a patient with dramatic results. In both cases they were brought to tears realizing they could hear from the ear they assumed was “dead.” One patient still says at every office visit…”I can’t believe I went for 30 years not hearing from that ear because the doctors told me a hearing aid would not help.”

Spurring this blog would be the patient who came in to the Zephyrhills office today for an annual recheck. She has had her hearing aid for 18 months. The last thing she said before she left today was: “This is the best thing that ever happened to me. All those years I did not think I could hear from this ear and now I can…” With tears in her eyes she hugged me and left. After 18 months, she is still moved to the point of tears.

End result is this: If there is no medical reason preventing trial with a hearing aid, it should be the patient’s choice. They are the only one who can determine if there is enough benefit to justify the cost of the hearing aid.

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