Wife Is Tuning Out

Q. My wife and I have spent a lot more time since March working from home together. I
notice she tunes out a lot of what I say unless I am beside her or in front of her. She will often
mis-hear what I say, too. She is only 57. Is it time for her to get hearing aids?

A. Spending more time at home with another person can shine some light on issues
like hearing loss. Mis-hearing and ‘tuning out’ are some of the tell-tale signs of hearing
loss. But before you bring up the question of getting hearing aids, talk with your wife about
your observations and suggest a simple at-home hearing test. Stand shoulder to shoulder
with your backs to the TV while some news is on. Turn the volume down just enough to
hear it well. In turn, tell each other what you are hearing. Take one large step at a time away
from the TV. After each step, tell each other what you are hearing. If your wife has hearing loss,
and you don’t, then you should be able to get further away from the TV than your wife and still
repeat what is being said on the news. If you both get the same distance away from the TV,
schedule a tandem appointment where you both get your hearing checked. This might make you
wife feel more at ease. Plus it does not hurt for you to get your hearing tested as well.