Unrealisitic expectations from family and friends?

This is something I have run into with all three of the hearing aids I have bought. I get them and my family and friends immediately expect me to hear EVERYTHING! They didn’t seem to understand that I didn’t have the ability to naturally tune out certain noises to concentrate on who was speaking, my hearing aids turned everything up and I had to sort it out mentally. Which was not an easy thing to do, especially with the first two sets. Now the Widex Sensos made this easier to do, although I don’t think they lived up to what my Audi told me they would do at the time. However I still remember the looks of disappointment on their faces, when I asked them to repeat themselves.

The reason I bring this up is because my Dad and I were talking about Bluetooth options for the TV. That way they wouldn’t have to turn it up so loud when I came over to watch a movie. Although without captioning nine times out of ten I still couldn’t understand what was going on. I just didn’t have the heart to tell them that. Anyway I was mentioning that with Bluetooth I would be able to listen to the show/movie and they could have the TV at normal volume. That’s when my Dad said, “yeah but you won’t need that because you’ll be able to heat great with the Epoqs.” I said, “Well Dad, you do realize that it’s going to take some time for me to properly adjust to where I can hear the best I can with them.” Then he said,“of course but you’ll still hear alot better than you do now.” At that point I just agreed with him, because I realized he didn’t understand what I was trying to say.

While I am excited beyond belief about my new Epoqs and I can’t wait until Friday when I am fitted, I still can’t help but worry that the expectations of family and friends will be unrealistic. Now I will admit that I did unwittingly contribute to this by talking about all the features of the Epoq, but still I worry about it. I guess it’s just something normal hearing people will never understand to the extent you hope they will. They see it as, “You have hearing aids now, why are you still asking me to repeat myself?”

Now maybe I am worrying too much but it has essentially been over two years since I have had hearing aids in both ears, and it will be a huge adjustment. I also read recently about the longer you go without Hearing Aids, the harder it is for your brain to recognize input from your ears. At least i think that is what it said, I can’t seem to find it now. I might have a tougher time adjusting because of this than I am hoping for.

What do you guys think? Am I worrying too much or is this something to be concerned about?

Perhaps you could consider taking your family along to the fitting so that audi can explain to them the challenges you will face. I have been wearing HAs for over 8 years and I still have to ask on the odd occassion “What did you say or can you say that again please?”

I think that you are a step ahead of most HI because of the fact you are raising this particular serious issue which from my experience is not often addressed.

Take them along if you can, and I think they will then better understand the problem.

Good luck to you from Australia.

And please let us now how you get on!

You are quite right. Family often expect too much from hearing aids. They are just what they say they are, they are an AID to hearing. They are not a replacement for your natural hearing, and they will not give you perfect or magic hearing.

I have perfectly normal hearing, yet even I will have problems in certain situations and with certain voices. So to expect someone with a loss, and hearing aids, to do better than someone with normal hearing is clearly unrealistic.

Generally hearing loss does not get a lot of sympathy. Maybe it’s because there is no physical sign of it. If you see a person in a wheel chair you kind of feel sorry for them. If you see a person with a white stick, again you feel sympathy and maybe want to help them. But hearing loss has no physical appearance of a problem, and therefore is often misunderstood.

As a complete aside, let me give you a tip that I would often share with the hard of hearing.

Buy a surround sound system for the TV!

Here’s the thing. When you watch a regular TV it tends to be in stereo these days. All the sound comes out of a left and right speaker designed to give a little bit of directionality to the sound.

The problem is, modern TV shows, movies and things of that nature tend to have a lot of ambient noise to add to the realism of the show/movie. This is not helpful for hearing aid users.

But if you buy a surround sound system for the TV, the ambient noise is for the most part fed into the left and right, front and rear speakers. The bulk of the dialog is fed into the center speaker.

You can adjust the amplifier so that the center speaker is louder than the surround sound speakers, which instantly boosts speech, and reduces the distracting ambient noise. Also you can usually adjust the frequency output a little to more closely match your loss. For most people this would involve turning the treble up a little and the bass down a little.

Most people with a hearing loss, would find that taking the above steps will give them a much better enjoyment of the TV.

Moderns surround sound systems are well under $300 for a pretty good system, although of course you can pay a lot more. They tend to come with the speakers, wires, and amplifier. So all you need to do is pull it out of the box, and plug it in. Everything you need is right there in the box.

As a complete aside, let me give you a tip that I would often share with the hard of hearing.

Buy a surround sound system for the TV!

Here’s the thing. When you watch a regular TV it tends to be in stereo these days. All the sound comes out of a left and right speaker designed to give a little bit of directionality to the sound.

The problem is, modern TV shows, movies and things of that nature tend to have a lot of ambient noise to add to the realism of the show/movie. This is not helpful for hearing aid users.

But if you buy a surround sound system for the TV, the ambient noise is for the most part fed into the left and right, front and rear speakers. The bulk of the dialog is fed into the center speaker.

You can adjust the amplifier so that the center speaker is louder than the surround sound speakers, which instantly boosts speech, and reduces the distracting ambient noise. Also you can usually adjust the frequency output a little to more closely match your loss. For most people this would involve turning the treble up a little and the bass down a little.

Most people with a hearing loss, would find that taking the above steps will give them a much better enjoyment of the TV.

This a GREAT idea!! I have a system and never set it up. It never occured to me that it could help with my hearing!! I will need to give this a try! Thanks for the tip! :smiley:

(I usually just blast the sound and too bad for others around me :o )

That is a great idea, and I do have surround at my apartment, but my mom doesn’t like them so my Dad doesn’t have one.

I am taking my mom along so maybe she will realize more about hearing aids, and help me in that regard as far as family and friends expectations.