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Carers UK Forum • Anyone dealing with deafness?
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Anyone dealing with deafness?

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:59 pm
by JennieWren:0)
Any advice on copeing with this would be very gratefully received. Basically my husband is deaf to certain tones, not volume, although when I resort to really shouting (like screaming) he hears me. In other words he can hear some people, but not others, and he cannot hear me very often at all, as I have "one of those voices" unfortunately. He blames me a lot, saying I dont speak properly, or I mumble, or I'm not facing him when I speak, or the tv is on, or the radio, or the washing machine, or tap running. This causes a lot of friction, and its getting much worse, makeing me more and more unhappy. He accuses me of saying things I've not said, or of not telling him something, or of telling him something different to what I actually said. He often accuses me of using foul language, when he's heard something entirely different. I hardly ever swear at all. Living with it every day is very distressing, especially if it happens when I am driving the car. I am at a loss as to how to deal with this, and feel its making me ill because of the arguments. I really dont know where my lovely man has gone.

For years he was in denial there was anything at all wrong with him, but he had the tests, and got the hospital hearing aids, but he says they do nothing because its not volume. However, he often does not hear someone at the door, or the telephone, and this can be dangerous as I found out when I shut myself out one day. He just couldnt hear me at the door.

He still says he can hear the telephone perfectly well, and denies needing any further help. There must be ways I can make this better. I just wish I knew what they were.

Re: Anyone dealing with deafness?

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:46 pm
by Jane:-)
Jennie, so much of your posting is familar to me but.......I am the one with the hearing loss not my caree (who's my OH) Image I can tell you of my experience but from the other viewpoint.
I wear a single hearing aid and although this has improved what I can hear, especially in social/noisy situations, I still have difficultly hearing some high pitches and some low pitches. My OH has complained of the same things you are and although I don't accuse him of swearing I do hear words wrong which can make for a very interesting, if different, conversations - mostly of which we laugh about. If I'm tired I still tend to zone out but can make the right response ie mmmm, yeah, ok etc but actually I'm too tired to listen and subsequently get told I was informed/asked (the kids take full advantage of this Image ).
Before I got my hearing aid (3 years ago) I relied heavily on watching people's lips and facial expressions to work out what I couldn't hear and still find it frustrating when people turn away when talking or cover their mouth with a hand. I'm not embarassed by my hearing loss and therefore tell ppl not to do either if they want me to hear what their saying. There are a couple of people I know who don't open their mouths very wide, have heavy facial hair and speak very softly and I sometimes just nod my head or smile hoping its the right response because after asking them to repeat for the third time I can tell they're becoming frustrated/annoyed and I dislike confrontation/bad feeling.
The telephones and doorbells I hear best are the ones where you can choose the tune. My mobile phone has a very annoying tune which is distinctive from anyone else's I know, it doesn't annoy me 'cos I can hear it but apparently is irritating to others. Tough I say, because if my OH needs me in an emergency, ie he's fallen over etc I need to answer his call.
When you talk to your husband can I suggest you use different pitches of voice, trying talking lower (I don't mean quieter but deeper) careful you don't sound gruff though else he might ignore you anyway if he thinks you're cross! You could always stand behind him a little distance away and ask if he'd like a cuppa, try different pitches until you get a response and then endeavour to use that tone in future.
I have asked my audiologist to re-test my hearing once so far, I wanted to know if there was any deteriation (there was only slightly), but I had to push for it they didn't think it necessary and the audiologist is very busy etc etc. I intend to have my hearing tested every two years and will fight for it each time, bearing in mind I should have
had an aid as a teenager and I wasn't ever offered one, I don't think its too much to ask for a test bi-annually. Sorry got on soap box then - basically if your husband doesn't want to get retested or inform his audiologist that his particular aids don't work for him there isn't much you can do. Oh you could say you know a 40 year old woman who has an aid and picks her batteries up from the local Age Concern centre and if she can do it anyone can Image might help, though might cause a row!
Jennie, good luck and stay patient we really don't do it delibrately but sometimes we're just too tired of trying to listen to people all day that we switch off, nothing personal honest its just we know our nearest and dearest are forgiving Image

Re: Anyone dealing with deafness?

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:50 pm
by Jane:-)
Oooo forgot to say I have a digital hearing aid via NHS, depending on when your husband got his he may need a more updated one. After I had my hearing test they plugged the hearing aid into the computer and programmed it to my specific needs - all very clever stuff Image

Re: Anyone dealing with deafness?

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:33 pm
by Legsmaniac
Hi Jennie,

Like Jane, I myself am deaf and I can relate to everything Jane has posted.
I was born profoundly deaf and currently wear two digital hearing aids supplied by the NHS. Digital hearing aids from the NHS have been a bit of a hit-and-miss thing with many deaf people, many saying they hate them and would far prefer to go back to the good old days of analogue hearing aids. The problem with the NHS is that they sort us out far too quickly and impersonally, setting up digital aids to our audiogram and shipping us off to "get used to them". They usually recommend returning for reassessment and retune/reprogram about 6 weeks later. If your hubby is not happy with his aids, make an appointment to go back to the audiologist and insist they readjust the aids until he is happy. It's a good idea to take something with you such as a recording of the doorbell he cannot hear so that you can play this back during the appointment to see if the adjustments have enabled him to hear the recording and stay there until they have adjusted/programmed the aids properly.

It most likely IS volume your hubby has lost, but only in certain frequency ranges. For example, he might have normal hearing levels in the lower frequencies and the audiograph may "dip" towards the higher frequencies. A digital hearing aid can therefore be programmed to provide volume for the higher frequencies only. Not only that, digital aids are designed to "shift" the frequency (which I hate, personally) - that is, it's programmed to shift high frequencies (such as a woman's voice) to a lower frequency that the ear can hear (such as a man's voice). This may seem very strange but some deaf people claim to like it. Others hate it and you can therefore understand why many prefer the analogue aids which "just amplify", myself included.

As for doorbells, have you thought about getting one with a flashing light? A few examples are......

http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/p ... 237970.htm

http://www.connevans.co.uk/store/viewPr ... id=4029703

http://www.connevans.co.uk/store/viewPr ... id=4029704

http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/s ... bells.aspx

Alas, you WILL have to learn to be patient with a deaf person, speak clearly, face towards hubby, ensure you are lit (ie, light falls on you and you're not stood in front of a bright window, therefore in silhouette) and minimize background noise. I know it's hard to remember to do. Even now, my wife is always looking down at something (such as her Smartphone, reading something to me) while talking to me and I still have to remind her to look at me. Sometimes, I just ignore her and when she realises I haven't replied, she looks at me. LOL Yes, it works so I can imagine this is what your hubby is doing now. Concentrating on hearing, especially with lip-reading or looking for visual clues is VERY tiring so I can understand your hubby getting "snappy". I urge you to sit down with him if you can and both of you talk this situation through. Tell him honestly how it's making you feel, reassuring him that you know it's not his fault and promise him you'll try to make a better effort to face him and reduce background noise etc. In return, he should promise to understand that this is all new to and hard on you too. Try to reach a compromise and explore some common ground where you can both lay some ground rules on how to reach an agreeable medium to suit you both.

Some more links you may find helpful for you both, apologies if you already know about them......


And one for fun.....

Hope this helps. If you need any more help or information, feel free to ask here or via a PM if you prefer. Image

Re: Anyone dealing with deafness?

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:54 am
by Jane:-)
Thank you for the links Gary, they were useful for me too Image

Re: Anyone dealing with deafness?

Posted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:17 pm
by JennieWren:0)
Hello Jane and Gary, thank you both for taking the trouble to give me such excellent replies, and I will check out all those links Gary. It doesn't matter that you are both on the other side, so to speak, but of course, I'm so sorry that you are. But you may be in a better position to advise me.

His hearing loss is wierd. I realise now, it had been coming on for years, as we argued a lot about stuff he said he hadn't been told, etc etc, but then one day he suddenly just lost the hearing totaly in one ear. The other ear is now gradually becoming worse, and I'm wondering if its something to do with his arthritis, which he has in several places including his neck, from time to time.

Sitting down and talking to him about it has been exhausted now I'm afraid. In his mind, he can't do anything about it, so it's me who's got to adapt. However....strangely, since I had a bit of a hissy fit this weekend, I've definitely noticed that things have changed. For example, the TV has not been so unbearably loud, and he definitely is concentrating on me more when I speak, and has heard mostly everything I've said, when I've been facing him. So this bears out my thoughts that much of the time he's paying more attention to the sport on TV than what I'm trying to tell him. He does do a lot of those mmmm responses Jane, or more annoyingly he will just look at me and grin, hopeing its the right response, which really winds me up, and I know he hasn't heard. Gotta laugh sometimes as you say, but at the end of a tiring day I could sometimes cry.

Good point re- the mobile phone tunes and the door bells. It took a while to sort out a ditty on his mobile that he could hear the best. That's when the things even turned on, or taken with him...but thats another issue. Why carry a mobile phone when you are with your wife who has one? LOL

I will have a go at different tones in my voice again. My voice is quite soft. I will need to do it without being detected as the last time he told me I was taking the micky. And I have been pushing him for ages to have a new hearing test, but so far he's just said there's nothing they can do. But you know, and I know, that things have moved on, and the newer digital ones may work better with his particular problem, especially as you say Jane, if they can be programmed by computer to your personal needs.

I agree with you Gary, that the medics do want to sort you quickly, and impersonally. I think its a sign of the times, like the GP's only having so many minutes per patient. It makes sence absolutely that he's probably lost volume in certain frequency ranges, but they dont tell you much.

I will hold my hands up to not having a door bell, but now, I think its a case of needs must. We had one once, years ago which drove the dogs mad if the same tone alarm came on the TV, and hubby now prefers to rely on the dogs telling him if someones at the door. All well and good, untill they are having a bit of a 'barking good day' and he then tends to just ignore them.

Thank you so much for all those links. I will look at those next, or maybe tomorrow now, as it's late, but I'm sure there will be something there. Very kind indeed, and I think the pair of you have given me plenty to think about. Hopefully we will work it out eventually. Much love and gratitude. xx

Re: Anyone dealing with deafness?

Posted: Tue May 27, 2014 9:08 am
by Dotty
Hi, you may be sorted now-have only just seen post. My C has 2 high power nhs aids. There are certain frequencies that control clarity of speech as my C's aids can't be pushed higher on these. Audiologist was going to look to see if any other makes can go higher for C. Therefore I suggest pushing for all you can get. Initially my C only had one aid. consultant said 2 but audio said no money. I became like a broken record until he popped mould in for second ear. They are not as perfect as at beginning hence need to search for another make. tiredness is explained now and C has all but useless central vision hence facial details no good. Hope you are sorted. Stronger aids cause distortion - my caree hates female voices with high register. Don't take this wrongly - but aids need regular cleaning/drying overnight-I always take them apart overnight. Conneva a do cleaning kit. Also if T button is programmed and on they can't hear either. Hope some use.

Re: Anyone dealing with deafness?

Posted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:51 am
by Bernard
I have been deaf since I was 4 years old I'm now 61 years old. I was one of the young ones that sort of missed the system. By this I was to get my hearing in Bradford 1958, due to hospital then school a date was set and I moved to Stockton. Then the fun started the hearing aids went to the local school clinic. I had to attend a sort of medical I was 7 at the time. He said had your tonsils out I said no he said lets have them out. My parents said no there is no need to remove them. Well he said you don't get the hearing aids. So I attended school not hearing a thing, teaching myself. Passing the 11+, and studying at collage without hearing. I did it, it was hard work with no help just teachers thinking I was thick. If I can do it, it proves that by a disability by hearing can do as they wish if they try hard.

Re: Anyone dealing with deafness?

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 10:32 pm
by M_1510
Hi there all
My name mark
When I was a young lad Thay thought I was messing around as us lads used to do my mum thought I was an angle like most mums do. Any way when I was about 10 -11 I had the hearing test done only for them to find out that I was deaf in the right ear and had less then 30% hearing in the left so my mum thought I might be a good idea to see if she could get me in a deaf school .but Thay would not except me as I could talk and I was not deaf enough for them to except me the reason I could talk well was because my dear mum spent a lot of time talking to me I hardly ever wore a hearing aid as I hated it. You where bound to get picked on so the trick was to be smart and think ahead of people in what Thay would say and be prepared so as I grew up and did a few diffent jobs I use to keep my self to my self ownly a few people knew that I had a hearing issue friend and family and yes I did get the wrong end of the stick over the years and bite a few heads off / I ended up meeting my wife got married moved away from my home town to start a new life in a new place and area over the last few months my hearing been a bit muzzy I said to the wife one day my hearing in my good ears not like it used to be I can't pick you up sound wise most guys would think thank god for that I can't her them nagging you or giving you good advice / well about 4 -5 months ago my hearing got worse so I whent of to see the dr she sent me for some test Thay came back fine a few weeks later my hearing got worse so I popped up to AAndE an had a hearing test done on the Monday my hearing had collapsed and I had to have a steroid injection in the ear followed up by extra test Thay ended up fitting me with 2 powerful hearing aids as I now have the muzzy sound in the good ear being replaced with tinnitus and i am now under st Thomas hospital. as no one know why I lost my hearing the only thing that think it might be is that I have over used it.now Thay are looking at me going to have a colea ear implant next so it's scary but how I miss the simple things in life the sounds of the birds music even the sweet sound of the wife saying don't for get this or that needs doing life complicated enough with hearing. it's extra hard with out it for all you lady's and gents out there don't give up hope you have fantastic family and friends standing by your side just keep on trusting the to help you through it all one day Thay might be in the same boat as you and your both be up the creek with out a paddle remember it's team work you both need each other even if it's hard work you have to deal with it the best way you can it's a rocky road ahead but sometimes you have to take a leap of faith

Re: Anyone dealing with deafness?

Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:50 am
by Christina_16011
I've got 2 hearing aids from NHS, because I'm losing my mid and lower ranges. Hubby goes 'deaf' when his ears get blocked with wax. Suggest you check this out. I can agree with all the others have said - you too!