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Confirm Improvement from Hearing Aids

Q.  I asked my Dad over Thanksgiving if he could hear better with his hearing aids on.  He said, “Actually, no.”  When I listen to them, I can hear them working.  Why can’t he hear better with them?

 

A.  Does your Dad mean he cannot ‘understand’ people better with his aids on?  People often say “I cannot hear you.”, when they really mean “I cannot understand you.”. 

    Since you hear the aids working, there might be some blockage in the aids or in your Dad’s ears that restricts the amount of volume reaching his ear drums.  Also, the aids may have a partial technical failure that limits how well and how loud they work.  If so, you might hear them working, but your Dad cannot.

    Your father might have some sinus and/or allergy drainage that affects how well he can hear.  Is he experiencing that?  If your father has any condition that impairs his cognition, he might have a hard time distinguishing if he hears differently when his aids are on.  You can ask him some questions with and without the aids on to tell if he is hearing more with them on.

    Go with your Dad to his hearing center.  They should address any blockages, technical hurdles, or additional hearing loss so that the next time you ask your Dad if he hears better with his aids on, he will say, “Actually, yes!”


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