How hearing loss put a strain on this couple’s marriage
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Somewhere between 1967 and 1969, Gary S. and Carol S. fell in love. They started a family and then life threw some hurdles their way. In 1980, Gary started to lose his hearing gradually.
Gary started feeling frustrated and angry about not being able to fully participate in everyday life because of his hearing loss. It began to affect his relationships with his kids, friends, work and, most importantly, with his wife.
Carol wasn't sure if Gary was losing his hearing or whether he was ignoring her at first. Then, she started recognizing that he was not partaking in conversations with their kids or friends. Gary's hearing loss started to progress, and he would get stronger and stronger hearing aids, but they were no longer helping him hear. Carol felt frustrated because it felt like she was working harder at being Gary’s ears than he was at trying to hear.
This growing anger and frustration put a strain on their marriage. They used to converse at the end of each day and enjoy each other’s sense of humor. As his hearing loss became worse, Carol would only share what Gary absolutely needed to know because it became too hard to communicate.
It became very lonely in their marriage. They missed their conversations with each other, the laughter they once shared and being able to say, "I love you." Gary held on to communication through emails and closed captioning, but he knew that this wasn't the way he wanted to live his life and that there had to be another solution for him.
Because the strongest hearing aids still were not helping him hear, in 2013, Gary went into to see his hearing aid specialist he had known for years who told him he needed to go back to his ear, nose and throat doctor to see if he qualified for cochlear implants.
Gary looked at him and said, “What the heck is a cochlear implant?’
A cochlear implant is an FDA-approved, surgically implanted medical device that replaces the function of damaged sensory hair cells inside the inner ear, called the cochlea. Cochlear implants are available to those with moderate to profound hearing loss struggling to hear in their hearing aids.
What Gary didn’t know then was that a cochlear implant would help him regain hearing and give him his life back. Gary can now hear his young grandkids laughing, the mouse click on the computer, the turn signal in a car, the beep the coffee pot makes before turning off, and his loving wife, Carol.
When Gary got his cochlear implant, Carol got her guy back. They feel more connected to each other, and their relationship is stronger now than it has been for years. Because Gary treated his hearing loss, he fell in love with music again and got his heart back. Carol and Gary now enjoy going to jazz festivals, and Gary can jam out to his Beach Boys CD that drives Carol crazy.
Gary and Carol are back to a healthy relationship where they have two-way conversations and laugh about the little things. Thanks to Gary’s cochlear implant, the couple looks forward to a happy, laughter-filled future together.
If you or your spouse are feeling withdrawn and struggling to communicate with each other due to hearing loss, visitwww.Cochlear.com/US/CochlearImplants to learn more about cochlear implants as a solution towards regained hearing and reconnection to the ones you love.
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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.