There are wives and husbands … daughters to mothers … who will begin this year with resolutions. Those resolutions can sometimes relate to communicating better with parents or with the spouse. The person with hearing loss will commonly state, “I can hear fine, but you are not speaking clearly.” The other might state, “You do not hear me well.”

Both of these positions are right and both are wrong. Most of our patients can hear but they do not understand the words well with this thing called Hearing Loss. It is almost a misnomer. We should probably call is an Understanding Loss instead, but traditions are sometimes hard to break. When a person who has more than a severe hearing loss in both ears, she or he will not be able to hear or understand unless people are speaking very loudly. That is when most people believe that they need hearing aids. When a hearing loss is in lesser levels, it is not perceived as a hearing loss whatsoever. Statements of Not paying attention or selective hearing are constantly brought to our ears which are really not the case. That patient is paying attention and cannot select what he is hearing or he would select to hear it all.

It is not always comfortable to admit this but I will use an anecdote off of a book called PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL written by an Economist at MIT who creates many studies. He noted that a friend spent six months comparing several models of digital cameras.  Once he finally made the purchase of the camera, this author asked him how many precious moments he missed in those six months. The friend said, “More precious and expensive than the time that I shopped for the camera.” I think that is something we all need to consider …

Skip to content