Hearing is important. It is important that you keep stimulating your brain with sounds and information. When you have a hearing loss your brain goes into a fog. It’s harder for you to carry on a conversation. Having a hearing loss effects your ability to remember details. After all, you can’t remember something you never heard in the first place.
Recently after performing a hearing evaluation and consultation (which included a full demonstration) I had a patient say to me; I am just not ready to get a hearing aid. When asked why he wasn’t ready he simply stated, “I don’t need to hear this well.” He further went on to state that he doesn’t have problems in noise because he chooses not to go to noisy places. As I dug deeper into this discussion I asked if his wife likes to go out to eat. Apparently she does, but they don’t because “she knows it’s best if he is not out in noisy places.” Hmm....
At this point I simulated a noisy restaurant and had is wife speak to him while blocking her face so he had no visual cues. He understood every word with our hearing instruments programmed for his prescription.
Upon asking him “wouldn’t he like to be able to take his wife out with friends and family and enjoy life more fully” he answered “NO. NOT REALLY.”
WHY? Why? Why... what was the hold up... this guy was different. Both ears had pretty much the same loss. He told us he had problems understanding 30% of the time. His mom passed away in her 70”s from Alzheimer’s so there is a genetic link that leaving his hearing loss untreated may contribute to the development of the disease. Even though this was explained to him he still “didn’t need to hear this well.” Our job is to make sure he is Hearing Healthy...
His wife shared that his mom never could hear with her hearing aids.
That his mom always complained of background noise. Maybe that’s it? Comparing his problems with hers? At that point the demonstration got very in-depth for different types of noise situations. He was impressed. He was intrigued he said... So was he ready? He asked his wife a simple question. “What do you think I should do?” She said, “ whatever you want to do.” Now, this happens often. It doesn’t matter if it is the wife or the husband. They don’t want to feel like they are forcing them into a decision. This time something different happened. (This is such an interesting profession). This time the patient said; “See, she doesn’t care if I hear better or not. She is fine with our social life just the way it is.”
I just looked at her. She was dumbfounded. She replied; “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” After some lengthy conversation it was finally discovered that he felt bad about dipping into their savings for something that he FELT was only a benefit to himself. He also really wanted the smallest invisible instruments that wouldn’t show but he knew the batteries don’t last as long so again he felt like he was spending more “money on himself.”
Hearing is important, not just for yourself, but also for your friends, family, co-workers, customers, teammates, casual acquaintances and even your pets. Keep your brain and your loved ones brain healthy and happy. To Hear Better is To Live Better... for EVERYONE!