In the last Connections I shared an article about a presentation I attended by HearingLife on the impacts of hearing loss on seniors and the need to have regular hearing check-ups after reaching the age of 60. HearingLife is one of BCRTA’s Advantage Partners and offers BCRTA members savings on hearing-aids.
What I didn’t mention was that my wife and I often complain to each other that we can’t hear what the other is saying and we frequently ask one another to repeat things. Even worse are the miscommunications about events and happenings. Occasionally one of us says in exasperation, “I TOLD YOU ABOUT THAT LAST WEEK, YOU NEVER HEAR WHAT I HAVE TO SAY!!”
I reflected on this after the Hearing Life presentation. After some discussion, my wife and I decided we would give HearingLife a try by getting our hearing tested.
Now I want you to know that I have never before entertained doing this because over the years I had a nasty suspicion that I was going to be told that I needed hearing-aids whether I was suffering hearing loss or not.
So off we tootled to the HearingLife office nearest to us in Penticton. It was easy and convenient to schedule the appointments. My wife had her test first, followed by me. The tests took about half an hour for each of us and then we had a combined consultation for about fifteen to twenty minutes.
The consultant who did the testing was an amazing person who took the time to discuss how the ear works and the causes of routine hearing loss. She had a professionally-equipped audiometric booth and a thorough testing process. The friendly manner of the testing and consult was greatly appreciated.
What was amazing to the technician and to me and my wife was that the results of our tests provided almost 100% identical hearing profiles. That is apparently quite unusual. What surprised me even more were the affirming words from the consultant—she told us that we have amazingly good hearing for our age (I am seventy and my wife is sixty-nine). She indicated that because our hearing is so good that we don’t need to worry about another test for two or three years.
When we asked her about our concerns regarding not hearing each other she asked us how long we have been married. We said forty-two years. She replied that the answer was easy – there is what she calls the “Marriage Syndrome” that after a long marriage, often hearing is not a problem. What is a problem is “listening”!
Her advice was not to go around shouting at each other but when communication is essential to take the time to sit down, face each other, snap our fingers and say, “Are you listening to me?” Then we will be set to get the information across. For me, at least, this is good advice because my attention span is becoming increasingly shorter as our marriage continues to grow in numbers!
So… have you had your hearing tested?
BCRTA Well-Being Committee Chair