A woman, Shirley, came in the other day for her first visit with us. She has been wearing hearing aids for quite a while and she shared how she came to wear hearing aids.
She and her husband had been empty nesters for quite a few years and were getting along just fine. Then her youngest son moved back home after college.
He was so stunned by the volume of the TV that he insisted that Mom go to her doctor the next day and get something done about her hearing. Based on her description of the situation, the doctor didn’t think it was bad enough to really seek out hearing aids at this time.
I groaned. Being in this industry for over 17 years, I’ve seen enough to know who got their hearing loss addressed immediately and who waited way too long.
Booming TVs, asking family and friends to repeat everything, accusing people of mumbling, avoiding social situations, are indicators that people should have their hearing tested to get a base line. People who get hearing aids at the first sign of loss tend to transition smoothly into hearing aids and wear them constantly.
People who wait. People who put it off. People who aren’t ready just yet. These people tend to wear their hearing aids sporadically, they prefer living in the quiet word of their deafness, they don’t follow conversations as quickly.
They can be really smart people, but in a conversation they tend to get lost quickly. A lot of this is due to the lack of brain processing because the part of the brain that processes conversations wasn’t getting enough information so it got lazy.
The sad part, most people don’t know why someone is getting lost in a conversation, so they assume the person is not as interested in the conversation. The person with the loss doesn’t realize what it really costs to wait to have hearing loss treated.
Unfortunately, Shirley’s delay in deciding to get hearing aids strained the relationship with her son and husband since she wasn’t as engaged in the conversation. Had Shirley gotten her hearing aids at the first sign, when her son complained about the booming TV, she would have avoided additional strain in her household. Fortunately, she has been more engaged since she got her hearing aids.
If you wonder if you are starting to show signs of hearing loss, call for your free hearing test. There is no obligation, I will gladly review the results and let you know where you hearing is now and where it should be.