He is 64, owns his own business and works full time. He enjoys everything he used to do in his 40’s and 50’s, nothing has changed at all apart from his decline in hearing.
It wasn’t something anyone noticed quickly, it’s declined gradually and to be honest I think he just accepted it as part of life.
My Mum, Brother and I have all commented on my Dad’s hearing, it’s a bit of a running joke and my Dad plays up to it now and then too. It’s all light-hearted but in the last year or so it’s been more noticeable than at family gatherings or meals out in busy restaurants my Dad has become a little distant. He isn’t as involved in conversations and tends to sit at the end of the table which is frustrating for the rest of us because we want him involved.
My Mum and Dad both look after my nieces (4 and 2), once a week. They absolutely love spending time with the girls as any Grandparents do and are lucky to be able to take them places and do lots of active things with them. Recently my Dad has struggled to hear them sometimes and has admitted that being out at noisy places he misses parts of what’s being said. If there is more than one voice at the same time he feels he can’t follow the conversation which is frustrating for him and makes him feel less inclined to go to noisy places which is sad for everyone.
My Dad doesn’t struggle with his hearing at work because he is always in a one on one conversation with no background noise. He does find that he gets a lot more tired now than he used to but the Audiologist he met within Maidstone said this could well be due to the fact his brain is concentrating much more on trying to hear sounds. A lot of people do not realise that a hearing loss can make you feel fatigued so my Dad is relieved to know that there could be a reason that he is more tired and it’s not just down to getting a little bit older!
For a few years, my Mum and I have suggested he should get his hearing tested but as a typical ‘manly’ man he has brushed it off and not accepted he needed to do anything about it. Even when he is ill he would put off going to the doctors so getting him to a hearing test seemed like an impossible challenge!!!
Having his grandchildren has definitely helped him realise that he is missing out on special moments. Having a 2 and 4 year old to look after is definitely not quiet so he noticed more and more that his hearing was becoming a bigger issue.
He has also admitted that he would miss parts of television programmes because he could not hear what was being said. He would miss out on conversations at social events and would sometimes feel silly if he would say something that didn’t fit into the conversation because he had misheard it.
With a little bit of research into hearing aids and more persuasion from the whole family, my Dad finally had his hearing tested in Maidstone, Kent. At first, the Audiologist couldn’t perform a full hearing test due to a build-up of wax in one of his ears. They removed this through micro-suction and he was amazed at how much clearer and less blocked his head felt.
When he had the hearing test the Audiologist explained that he had a high-frequency loss and that hearing aids would definitely benefit him. He tried the Oticon OPN S hearing aids whilst at the hearing test and was absolutely amazed. He said he could hear his hands rubbing together which he hadn’t heard for years and things were clearer and sharper immediately. The Audiologist went out of the room and spoke to him whilst the door was closed and he could still hear perfectly. My mum had gone to the test too and was relieved to see my Dad so happy and enthusiastic as she had worried he might not be a fan of wearing something on his ear and that he would dismiss them. She was shocked at how small and subtle they were and said she didn’t realise how far the technology had come on.
Unfortunately, my Dad couldn’t take the hearing aids he tested away with him then and there. These were just for test purposes but he has ordered the same hearing aids as he tested in the hearing test and will receive them in a few days.
I wasn’t at the hearing test but he called me after and I can honestly say I have never heard him sound as enthusiastic about anything. He was absolutely over the moon with what he could hear and is extremely excited about getting them. In fact, we have arranged to all go for a meal the evening he gets his new hearing aids to give them a test run in a busy restaurant….stay tuned for the final verdict on his reaction to his new hearing aids.
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