Poor spouse understanding of hearing loss

I’m wondering if anyone has invented HA simulator for the spouse who could wear them to understand how difficult it is to hear over running water and numerous other background sounds that seem to take priority.

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The first time I went for a hearing test at the VA, my wife was with me. Instead of a soundproof booth, it was done in a soundproof room and she was allowed to stay with me. Headphones were only used to block off the ear that was NOT being tested. I had to answer verbally when I heard a tone.

After testing was finished, my wife said, “You can’t hear shit, can you?”

Her attitude changed dramatically after that day.

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The Rexton Connexx software has a simulation function that lets you take your specific audiogram and then play common environmental sounds like a restaurant, tap running, etc to see what it sounds like with your specific loss and without it. Sounds neat, but when you think about it, the simulation only works if you have perfect hearing. So it is really not useful to the person with a hearing loss even when wearing hearing aids. But, if your spouse has perfect hearing it could work very well for them to help understand what your loss is.

My solution to your problem is to press the pause button on the TV until the interfering background noise stops.

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I am totally impressed with your wife!

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My wife will have the TV on and sometimes I will have the TV connect enabled and some times I will not. If my wife starts talking to me I tell her to mute the TV if she wants to talk to me.

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Getting the wife to sit in on a hearing test really is a good idea. If nothing else it will prove to her that she’s not the only thing on the planet you can’t hear.

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Talk to your audiologist. Some of the software packages have hearing loss simulators. I know I’ve also seen them around the web with and without tinnitus. Good luck I think it’s really important for people to understand the challenge and how draining it can be to concetrate so much to understand so little. And if the spouse doesn’t come around, just remove one of their support elements (I always threaten to take away their wheelchairs or walkers or something like that in jest).

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Here is one on the web. Some headphones and you can simulate hearing loss / tinnitus.

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I know my husband sure doesn’t get it…he’s very sensitive and wonderful to me but we’ve been together for 10 years now and he still hasn’t learned that if he is turned away from me when talking, chances are good I’m not going to hear what he’s saying. I think that for the folks who hear normally, it’s just incomprehensible to them what the hearing aids do. I went to visit my sister after receiving a new pair of hearing aids a couple of years ago and the sounds were just amplified in all the wrong ways----it was really stressful for me and she kept getting annoyed that I seemed uncomfortable or was cringing when certain sounds were made. Good luck—I hope your spouse is at least understanding and compassionate.

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The Roger MyLink has a 2.5mm female jack for a headphone to be plugged in. This allows those who hear normally to understand the kind and quality of sounds generated by a hearing aid.

Explaining to people that a decrease of hearing loss is accompanied by a decrease of the thresholds at which sounds become uncomfortable or painfull and then putting your hearing aids in their ears is also a wonderful way to shock them into accepting that HA’s are not like glasses at all.

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I’ve been married 49 years and wearing hearing aids for around 38 of them. Just last year my wife also had to get hearing aids.

Now she understands.

I think! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Thanks for that. I’ll try it.

It’s good to know that other people have similar problems. My husband is also kind and considerate but doesn’t always have patience. He doesn’t like repeating and doesn’t always get that I can hear the best when no other sound is competing for my attention. I have low frequency hearing lost which adds to the dilemma. I follow that group on Facebook. What’s the worst is when he has to repeat and shouts the same thing when he could just repeat and I would hear it. I think I will follow this forum more closely just for support. Thanks for comment.

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Reading this thread struck a nerve. Hearing loss is a disability that society in general feels ok making fun of. I’m not overly sensitive (really) but I used to ask co-workers who would make fun of someone having trouble hearing them if the person were missing an arm would you make that joke! It’s also impossible for other people to “see” your hearing loss so they just don’t get it. My other frustration is the perception that getting aids somehow cures your hearing loss.

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Boy, if there were a device to help my wife understand the problems I have I’d buy a dozen! I have to repeatedly tell her there is a huge difference between being able to hear a sound that comes out of someone’s mouth … and being able to process and understand what is being said. She doesn’t get it and probably never will. And, the real downside is that she has particularly acute hearing.

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I would like to request a “Do Over” for my marriage. The slow and tedious decline in my hearing over the later years of our marriage were very hard on the relationship. My wife just could not understand and she claimed I was not hard of hearing. Rather I was hard of listening. I believe the problems that occurred because of my hearing deficit put a real strain on our marriage and we parted ways in our late 60s. Not only was it difficult to accept emotionally, it was very hard on my finances and I have not fully recovered from it now into my 80s. Thank goodness my kids understand and they refused to get into the fray. To this day they are on good terms with both of us. But they get regular checks on their hearing just to be sure it does not cause problems in their marriages.

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Have your wife wear earplugs for a couple of days. Even the squeezable foam ones would work fine. Tell her this is only causing a MILD hearing loss. She might understand your more severe problem a little better. A study was done years ago with college students. They wore ear plugs 24/7 for 30 days. I don’t remember the exact results but it was something like: 1/3 reported little to no difficulties, 1/3 reported an inconvenience but tolerable and 1/3 reported that it was devastating and they were hardly able to function. So your wife may have a real eye opener and then again maybe not so much but it would be worth a try.

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Looking at your audiogram, it is not hard to tell you have a serious hearing loss. My sympathies on both losses.

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I think that sometime spouses don’t want to understand about hearing loss. My wife will get all the way across the house and expect me to understand what she is saying. Added to that, English is not her native language and she has a propensity to mispronounce a lot of things, making it even more difficult for me. She went with me to one of my VA appointments, and the Audiologist specifically told her to speak directly in front of me and to speak clearly and slowly so I could understand. She just laughed. One of her most annoying habits is to stream videos on her phone at maximum volume from behind me while I try to watch TV. My TV Connector streaming directly to my aids helps, but often can’t overcome the volume of her phone.

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Mute the mics on your hearing aids, you will still hear the streaming from your tv

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