Couple discusses impact hearing loss had on relationship
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Brenda D. struggled with gradual hearing loss since she was in the first grade. Hearing aids were available, but she did not need one yet, so she survived school by sitting in the front row. Brenda eventually got hearing aids, but her struggles with hearing loss affected her self-confidence, independence and social life. She did not feel accepted by others, and this created obstacles in high school, college and into her adult life.
For Brenda and Brad D., hearing loss was part of their relationship since the day they met. Brad knew Brenda had a hard time hearing, but he thought it was his soft-spoken voice. He assumed she would ask him to repeat himself, but then he noticed she was reading his lips.
When Brenda and Brad were part of a group conversation, people would talk and look at Brad more and isolate Brenda. Having to tell or remind others that she was hard of hearing or deaf was a fear of Brenda’s that she had to relive daily.
As Brenda’s hearing loss progressed over the years, the phone became another pain point for her. Even with the use of strong hearing aids, being able to understand Brad and others on the phone was a challenge. The phone also became frustrating for Brad; he wanted Brenda to hear him the first time and not repeat things 10 times. Brenda’s gradual hearing loss made it tough to connect with her spouse and family, putting a strain on her relationships.
Brenda and Brad are not big fans of change. When something is new for Brenda, it is hard for her to take that next step. However, determined to regain her hearing when her hearing aids were no longer providing enough benefit, Brenda decided to look into a different solution, a cochlear implant.
A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted medical device that replaces the function of the inner ear (cochlea) and is designed to mimic natural hearing. Cochlear implants help those with moderate to profound hearing loss in both ears who are not receiving enough benefit when using hearing aids—when it sounds like listening to a loud, badly tuned radio and the words are not clear anymore.
After Brenda, now 61, received her cochlear implant, not only did she get to experience little sounds again like turn signals, coffee pot timers, the sizzling sounds of cooking and the tick-tock of the clock, she was able to rekindle her relationships with Brad and her daughters. In the video, Brad asks Brenda, "If you could go back and talk to yourself when you were younger, what would you do differently?" Without hesitation, Brenda says, "I probably would have done an implant sooner."
If you or your spouse are missing out on the sounds of life and love because of hearing loss, visit www.Cochlear.com/US/CochlearImplants to learn more about cochlear implants as a solution towards regaining hearing.
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Please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors, which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information. Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your health professional to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology.