Question for Cochlear users

In other threads here most Cochlear users are pleased with the improvement with no regrets.

Can you give some indication how bad your hearing loss was before?

I am going through the assessment phase with the NHS Nottingham Auditory Implant Programme. Stage 2 of that is assessing whether I will get enough benefit from an implant, relative to my current hearing aids, Resound Omnia.

At the assessment, after taking audiograms with and without my HAs, the NAIP Audiologist said my right hearing aid had insertion loss at 250hz and wasn’t giving the benefit it should so couldn’t make the assessment until it was adjusted.

I have been back to my Resound audiologist who confirmed the issue and made adjustment. Now waiting for repeat NAIP assessment.

The Resound audiologist, and his more experienced boss both say that they don’t think I would benefit. You might think they would say that wouldn’t they, but they said Cochlear are really only for people who get little or no benefit from hearing aids. They think I get too much benefit.

I have -110dB at 2000hz and, but only -70dB at 1000hz, and -55dB at 500hz and 250hz. Very similar in both ears.

I get enormous benefit from my HAs and manage well in one-to-one good acoustic situations, but struggle otherwise and make heavy use of a multi mic.

Hence my question is …what was your low/mid frequency hearing loss before you had cochlear?

Thank you very much for any replies.

The audiogram on my profile is my last pre-implantation test. So only a little worse then yours at the lower frequencies. I could even do okay in quite with the hearing aids, but in noise I couldn’t understand much of anything.

You can see the long version of my story here.

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You can see my audiogram in my profile. That is before my CI in my left ear. I was considered very borderline. I decided to meet with the surgeon at Vanderbilt University, which is doing cutting edge research in CIs, to see what he said. He recommended moving forward with the CI for several reason: hearing only get worse over time. THey seem to have better test and real life results when people do it earlier while they still have some hearing. Better to do it before I develop any other illnesses that could inhibit recovery. I have zero regrets and after 5 months tested in the normal hearing range in booth tests - 95% words and sentence understanding with just my CI. Audiologists are in the business to sell hearing aids, not do CI surgery, so it is in their best interest to tell patients to wait. It used to be that they recommended waiting until it’s a last resort, but results are suggesting earlier is better. You can always go all the way through the assessment and get all of your questions answered and then decide. THat was my approach and it was very helpful.


Thanks very much. The way you have documented your story is very useful.

From thus forum I get the impression that CI in the US are much more common, mostly paid for by insurance. In the UK I don’t think many (any) people have insurance which will pay for them, so CI users in the UK are mostly (all) supplied and fitted by the NHS. There isn’t a whole range of alternative sources and suppliers like in the US,

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Thanks very much for that…those are indeed good points about going ahead in a marginal case.

Your audiogram doesn’t really say if you have decent word understanding or not. Everyone is different about this. Granted the audiogram says a lot concerning CI according to insurance companies and government entities.

You haven’t mentioned what your word understanding scores are. These are the reality of your hearing loss in my opinion. The ability to hear good enough to have communication with family and hold the job of your choice.


That is a good point @Raudrive . My experience of audiologists in the UK, both NHS and four or five private ones over 18 years of hearing aid use is that word comprehension tests just aren’t done.

I never had one until the NHS Cochlear assessment I just had, which she said was invalid because my right hearing aid was not working properly. I did ask her what my score had been inspite of this and it was about 30%. Will be interesting to see what it is on the repeat assessment.


I do agree with Raudrives comments.
Here in Aus the WRS needs to be below a certain %, it was 40% when I got my CI. Mine was 26% pre implantation. My Phenome score was 51% pre implantation. My SRT was 20.6 preimplantation. I believe Aus has reviewed these requirements recently, but I don’t know what the current % requirement is.

I read a document where Cochlear were looking at revising the requirements/scores globally. This would be great if it happens, then all countries would be the same. As currently all countries have very different scores/requirements that need to be met.

Good luck to you on your journey.


I have just had my repeat assessment at the Nottingham (UK) Auditory Implant Centre. My WRS before the hearing aid was adjusted was 33%. After the adjustment it is 37%. Criterion for Cochlear is less that 50%…so I am now definitely having one !!

The audiologist called it a word score but then she described how it works and it sounds more like it was a phenome score from what I have understood here. It was based on how many phonemes I got correct.


And you are off on a new adventure. Good luck.


Cheers on the adventure! Hope it works out! I was just wondering what is a phenome test?

Thanks for good wishes.

I think I had the name wrong …should be “phoneme”. It is the smallest unit of sound. EG if the word spoken in the test was "goat’ and I said “boat” I would have scored 1 for getting the “oat” sound correct, but nothing for saying “b” instead of “g”.

On a word recognition test I would have scored zero for “boat” so a phoneme score should higher than a WRS score.

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All the best.

I have until next month to decide whether I want to be referred for a CI assessment. I have been back and forth to the audiology department so many times to adjust my hearing aids because nothing seems to be clear and the only option I have left if I want clarity, is to have a CI.

I was OK with it as I will only have it in 1 ear but now I am getting cold feet. My husband is not keen on me going ahead, either as he is worried.

No idea what to do for the best. I want to hear better but, I have been living like this for years now. I have grown used to it. I am an introvert and do not communicate with hardly anybody so I always ask myself whether there is there a need for me to have it?

This is the big question.
Do you want to communicate with other people???
If you do, CI can sure change all that if you want it to. It’s all about what you want.

Bring able to hear after being almost deaf for a bunch of years can be exhausting. Hearing my wife cuss me from a distance was an eye opener.

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Very low risk in getting an assessment. Go for it. You may learn something to help you make the decision. It isn’t like you have to go through with the surgery no matter what they say at the assessment. It is an opportunity for making discovery.



It’s a chicken and egg thing, isn’t it? Is a hearing aid enough for what I usually use my hearing for- which in my case is talking to my kids. Or… if my hearing were better than this, would I be out there talking to more people than just my kids? And would that enrich all our lives? Longer-term hearing loss gets you into certain patterns of behaviour (which you think are just you being you) and you forget that there are other possible patterns of behaviour. It’s a toughie all right.