Hearing aids: the challenges

Hearing loss effects a person’s mental, emotional and cognitive health, but when 80% of patients aren’t wearing the hearing aids they need, it’s important to understand why…


Around 12 million people in the UK suffer from hearing loss – put in context, that’s one in six of us. But only 40% of people who need hearing aids wear them, which can have a detrimental impact on emotional and physical wellbeing. As an audiologist, you are fully aware of the benefits that the right technology can bring to a hearing-impaired person’s life, so what is preventing their use?

Happy patients, good hearing

Evidence suggests that people in the UK wait on average 10 years before seeking help for hearing loss, with GPS only referring 30-45% of patients to NHS audiology services. Not a great start, is it? And with only £1.11 funding for every person effected, it can sometimes feel like a losing battle. But much like a gym membership, hearing aids only work if used correctly…

Inefficient use

When a hearing aid doesn’t fit properly, it can be uncomfortable and ineffective. Whether it’s a behind-the-ear-model that continually falls off, or earmolds that cause redness in the ear or poor fitting ITEs, each one comes with its own problems. And each one is as individual as your patients – as is their confidence and skills in modern technology. While today’s hearing aid tech is excellent – with many now easily adjustable via a smartphone app – without the right instructions and care, patients can become frustrated, give up and continue living with hearing loss.

Poor consistency

Hearing is a brain activity that requires stimulation to interpret sounds properly, so patients who only wear their hearing aids for special occasions suffer from poor functionality. By not allowing their brains to make sense of the signals it’s receiving from the inner ear, the benefits of hearing aids are not maximised. However, with daily use, hearing aids provide the consistency that the brain needs to reacquaint itself with new sounds, while acclimatising to different listening environments. Also, as you aware, hearing loss changes over time. In the same way that glasses need replacing, hearing aids also need upgrading across a patient’s time in your care. Which is a vital component to continued and consistent use.

Managed expectations

When fitted with hearing aids, many users hope for and except restored hearing. But the reality is often very different, as the hearing aids still need to go through a damaged system. Unfortunately, when the expectations of the technology are too high, people with hearing loss can become disheartened and stop using them. If users don’t recognise a change in their hearing when using the technology or continue to hear background noise regardless of the correct settings and filters, they are in danger of giving up.

Assistive listening

While modern hearing aid technology allows users to choose among settings and filters to distinguish the source of sound and quieten distractions, Conversor’s ALDs can take hearing aids to the next level. No matter how noisy the restaurant, theatre or train carriage, these devices transmit clear sound, cutting through background noise and isolating key dialogue. Designed to increase the effectiveness of hearing aids and cochlear implants, they can make a key difference in alleviating the daily grind of hard of hearing patients, making hearing easier, improving every aspect of your patients’ lives. While also encouraging a commitment to hearing aid use.

For more information on how Conversor can support your patients, call 01483 608 404 today and keep their hearing aids where they belong.