Borderline in need of hearing aids, not sure what to do

Good evening all,

Had my audiologist appointment today and was told that I am borderline on needing hearing aids. At this point I’m not too sure on what to do/how they’ll benefit me? I have trouble hearing when in a group of people, around 5 or so, I have to ask my wife to repeat herself etc… and I have tinnitus all day everyday.

I have had a previous audiology exam, around 5 years ago, which shown that I had hearing loss, but was not recommended hearing aids at that point. However since then, my hearing has deteriorated a lot more.

I’m just wondering what other people’s experiences have been like, when faced with similar hearing and results like mine.

Thanks in advanced for your help.

Welcome to the forum.
When you lose hearing and these sounds are missing for a long time, it gets difficult to bring those sounds back and understand them. I have attached the speech banana. Lay your audiogram across it. This will show you what sounds you are having a tuff time with.

My audiogram drops off a bit before yours and recovers at 6-8K but we seem to have the same elements of the speech banana missing. I wear hearing aids at work and I’ve hardly had to ask anyone to repeat themselves since (after asking pretty much everytime someone spoke, I also used to say pardon then answer because saying pardon gave my brain the extra time to fill in the gaps) I also can’t follow more than 2 maybe 3 people talking without them, especially in background noise. I don’t wear them all the time, not always at home or out shopping but I always wear them to work, especially now everyone has to wear a mask at all times (UK hospital) Part of my job is in a cardiac theatre so I had already encountered the surgical mask problem which prompted me to get hearing aids earlier than I may have in a different job. Is there anywhere you can get a no obligation trial and see how you get on?

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My hearing is worse than yours now, but it was pretty similar to yours a few years back. My take is that you will not notice a dramatic improvement. Your wife should be easier to understand (assuming she’s speaking to you instead of from down the hall) People in a group, especially with background noise will still be challenging. I’m glad I got my hearing aids, but they definitely take some getting used to. Assuming money is at least somewhat of an issue, I’d highly encourage checking out Costco as you can get a decent pair of hearing aids for $1500 and (assuming you’re in the US) have 6 months to make up your mind if you think they’re worth it.


I think if your hearing has gotten to the point where it’s inconveniencing you and others, it’s time to at least check out what hearing aids can do for you. As MDB pointed out, if you’re in the U.S. (or Canada or UK) and anywhere near a Costco, you can get reasonably priced aids with a long trial period (shorter than in the U.S. in Canada and I think UK, but still something like 90 days).

I went through the same scenario many years ago. Basically, if you are having trouble understanding people in noisy situations, you should probably try some hearing aids and see if they help. Bear in the mind that the worst case scenario for hearing is always very noisy places with lots of nearby conversations going on. In other words, restaurants, parties, etc. These are best places to test hearing aids to see if they help you.

Just find a really good audiologist.


This is always a tough question because no one can really tell you if you will benefit but you. Does your audi allow you to test a pair of hearing for say a few weeks without charging you. Because realistically any hearing aid you try will seem very very loud for 3 or 4 days until your brain adjusts to all the additional sounds and noise you will be dealing with. You can’t realistically tell if you are benefitting from the new aids until your brain has a chance to adjust.

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If it bothers you enough that you think you might want to try for help…go for it but only on a trial basis. You should be able to get a no cost trial, although some practices will charge a fitting fee for their time. After wearing them for a month, you will know if the help is worth the cost. I have had patients with your loss that called me a liar when I told them they had a hearing loss in the high frequencies. I have others that swore their loss was profound. Hearing loss effects different people in different ways. That is why the trial is so nice, you can prove it to yourself whether the expense is worth the benefit.


Thank you to everyone who have responded. I believe that here in Australia, we are also offered a trial period, I might have to give this a go!

I think it’s a given, that either way, in my life at point (I’m 30) that ill need hearing aids. Whether that be now or a year or two down the track. I know the exact time that the hearing loss occurred around 10 years ago, and has been a slow decline since then. I used to deal a lot with weapons etc.


My hearing loss isn’t as bad as your hearing loss, and I’m really glad I have hearing aids. But the whole issue for me was I WANTED to hear better. In my opinion, I don’t think someone should wear hearing aids because an audi or someone else (a spouse or family member, etc.) said you should. I really believe YOU should want to hear better. With your loss you will definitely hear better with hearing aids, but do you care enough about that to spend the money and accept the hassle of hearing aids? Of course I wasn’t happy about my hearing loss, but I was very happy to be able to hear so much better with the hearing aids. As everyone has mentioned on this forum, there is definitely an adjustment period when first wearing hearing aids. I certainly went through it too. But because I wanted to hear better I was willing to go through that period. Peoples’ suggestions about a trial period for hearing aids is good advice, but a month may not be long enough for you to get used to them enough where you can really evaluate them for yourself. For me, the adjustment period was only a few weeks, but for others it can be longer. So again I say if you really want to hear better you’ll be willing to do what it takes. If you don’t really care that much about hearing better, don’t get them yet.

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I’d call your loss notably worse than OP. OP has near normal hearing in his left ear out to 3khz. You have notable loss starting at 2khz.

My audiologist told me he evaluates 2kHz as a critical frequency for hearing. Up to about a 40dB loss at 2kHz, people generally hear well enough that hearing aid benefit is lessened. That said, in my teens-20s I had loss at only 6 and 8kHz and experienced trouble hearing in groups. HAs nowadays may be able to help correct even that kind of loss. You won’t know until you try a pair and give your brain time to adjust. Good luck with your decision!

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Give them a try and be patient with them. What have you got to lose

I agree with this too. It was around this 2000 hertz at 40 dB that my speech recognition started falling off. Just couldn’t understand speech in many situations.

Hearing loss in lower frequencies out to 2000 hertz with 40 dB hearing loss is also the point to lean towards earmolds or at least double domes. The more occluded acoustics will benefit speech understanding as well as music and other sounds.

I was not quite as conservative, If 2K was 30 or lower, I would suggest a free trial of amplification. If enough benefit was realized, great. If enough benefit was not realized, no loss other than a little time. Surprisingly, over 50% of the people who had enough motivation to try, kept the instruments and enjoyed using them. It is unfair to a patient to try and determine their difficulties with a particular loss. As long as it costs them nothing to try, lets let them try. I was not a big fan of wasting my time, but I had enough happy patients after trying to keep on trying. It was not my place to play “God” and decide who could have better hearing and who could not. Let the patient decide.

I’d suggest that you try some if you can. However be prepared for the wide spread of providers.(there is some really good ones, and others who I felt just worked out my price(pain) point and provided info on devices at that upper spending limit).
If you think that you hearing loss is work related you should see if you have enough material to claim against the employer. This can be done years after you have left the service of that employer (either civil or military) but it does need you to have had hearing tests during the course of your employment. If you don’t have copies of these tests there are usually ways to get a copy of them, as they are your medical information.

@jmoles welcome to the forum. If you have a Costco store near you, they have a 6 month full refund trial period. Most private Audiology companies will give you varying trial periods, ranging from 2-4 weeks. After purchasing you have a full refund policy as well from the hearing aid company. I think Phonak have a 40 day return policy from memory. Some major companies also offer a 1 year extension on the 3 year warranty period as well, for a small fee. Unless your a pensioner avoid Hearing Australia, as they will only off you Signia aids as Signia is the major shareholder. I’m also an Aussie living in Melbourne.

Most manufacturers have either a 60 or 90 day return privilege. What the individual practice offer may be less. In reality, most patients will know within 30 days if there is enough benefit to complete the transaction. Granted, it will get better and better over the next six months, but if enough benefit is noticed it is worth doing.