Diane Matthews: Sign my petition for cochlear implant assessment tests to be carried out in realistic sound environments

Posted on January 19, 2017

So I’m old now, I’m 40 years old. I can’t hear the TV, can’t pop to the pub to chat with friends, can’t hear people at work unless they are practically sat on my knee…..

Oh hang on, wait, I was told I was quite young the other day at the hospital?

So I’m sat there in a room with my dad for support, the professor for the department, his nurse, the Hearing Therapist, the lead scientist and three junior doctors (reminding you of the twelve days of Christmas yet?). A bit intimidating to say the least. Then I was told once again “No you can’t be referred for surgery for a Cochlear Implant.”

I’ve been wearing hearing aids for 20 years, yet they can’t give me anything more powerful or better. My hearing is deteriorating but its a no from them again.

You may think I blame the hospital, but I don’t, it’s the guidelines they have to work to – set by NICE, the National Institute for Care and Excellence.

Well I don’t think they’re NICE, they don’t live in the real world, they live in a soundproof room and you only need to hear just over 50% in that environment to be told you don’t qualify.

What about how much you hear the real world?

So I work, I contribute to society, and the government wants me to work another 27 years or so, but I can’t hear?

I knew I was going to get to this point several years ago so I did BSL level 1 and 2, but no-one in my family is Deaf, so you guessed it, use or lose it. And I lost it.

I tried lipreading for a couple of years, but then the group lost support and funding, so that was another crash and burn.

So I’m left with subtitles permanently on TV – as a positive though, I think my daughter reads better because of this. I can go to the cinema only if it’s a subtitled viewing, theatre only if it’s captioned by Stagetext, so again, I’m limited.

Pub and meals out are extremely difficult and everyone thinks I’m madder than normal by doing the smiling, nodding, and other facial expressions – but not necessarily in the right order.

This is why I’ve started a petition asking for cochlear implant tests to be carried out in realistic sound environments, rather than soundproof rooms.

Thanks for reading this article, and please do sign my petition here:


Diane lives in Rotherham, married with one daughter. She is working in local government after serving a four year apprenticeship as an Electrician. She has had bilateral hearing aids since she was 20. She is currently trying to petition NICE re the Cochlear Implant criteria. 

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