If your spouse has recently decided to take the plunge and start using hearing aids, congratulations!
They’re probably hearing better already. Hopefully they’re already starting to be more responsive in conversations, less irritable and a lot easier to communicate with.
The strain that hearing loss put on your relationship is starting to dissolve. Chances are you’re delighted and looking forward to this bright new stage of your lives together.
However, it’s important to remember that hearing treatment is an ongoing process.
There will be hiccups along the road, disagreements and times where you feel as if the hearing aids aren’t working at all. In these frustrating moments, it’s vital that you remember all that you know about how hearing care works.
The first time your spouse asks you “What did you say?” since treatment, that doesn’t’ mean it’s time to pack in the hearing aids and give up.
Recognize your role in treatment.
The key to successful long-term hearing care is patience. On your spouse’s part but also with you. Hearing aids are designed to offer significant improvement in hearing abilities, but they’re not perfect. Even if they were, people with healthy hearing don’t hear everything 100 percent of the time.
Why, just the other day I was in a restaurant so loud that I could barely hear what my husband Phil was saying at all. It was so bad that the server got my order wrong! If Phil hadn’t been experiencing the same thing as me, I’m sure he would have been incredibly frustrated.
This is all just to say that for your spouse to get the most out of their hearing treatment, it requires your involvement too.
That means never yelling to them from another room, and always making sure you’ve got eye contact before telling them anything important. It also means understanding as much about how hearing works as you can.
It means realizing that it takes time for the human brain to adjust to using hearing aids. Over several weeks, the neural pathways responsible for processing sound will reform, and your spouse’s hearing will get even better. But again, be patient with them until that time comes.
People always want a magic bullet to solve all their problems at once.
They don’t want to hear about all the things they need to do to make treatment work. But with a compassionate, patient attitude between you and your spouse — as well as regular follow-up visits to the audiologist — it’ll be no time at all before hearing aids transform your lives.
If you want more tips on how to maximize the benefits of hearing aids, or you’re looking to use them for the first time, give me a call at 617-934-6987. I’d love to hear from you!