Couple Hearing Differently with HA’s

Q.   My husband and I have worn the same model hearing aids from the same hearing center for about 2 years.  At different times one of us can hear better than the other.  Why is that?

A.  More often than not, when both spouses wear hearing aids, one of them has slightly better clarity and understanding than the other.  At the same time, wearing the same model of hearing aids will not give you and your husband the same exact hearing at every moment of every day.  Since you trade off with each other in hearing a word or phrase more clearly, it would appear you are hearing with an overall similar degree of clarity. 

  Clarity is influenced by a person’s loss, what they are paying attention to and what they are thinking about.  When you are both checking out at HEB and the cashier asks a question, your husband might be thinking about using the groceries to make dinner and is not paying attention to the question well enough to hear it clearly.

  Likewise, when you are both with friends, you might steal a glance at a squirrel trying to eat from a bird feeder and miss the comment being made – but your husband hears it and repeats it to you.  These moments happen all the time, even among couples with ‘normal’ hearing.