It’s Not All About the Hearing Aid
JL is a 76-year-old male who scheduled an appointment for a follow-up audiological examination due to continued hearing difficulties in a variety of listening situations. He has worn bilateral hearing aids for 15 years, and it has been 2 years since his last audiological examination. JL was accompanied by his wife and adult son who recently returned to live with his parents. JL wears a behind-the-ear (BTE) digital hearing aid in his right ear that he purchased 7 years ago and a BTE in his left ear that was purchased 12 years ago. JL’s wife is interested in pursuing new hearing aids to help JL hear better and to allow her and JL to maintain a comfortable volume on the television. JL’s wife reports that “JL’s hearing difficulties are the hardest thing they have had to deal with in their 53 years of marriage.” JL’s son reports he is concerned that his relationship with his father is deteriorating because his father’s inability to hear well with his current hearing aids has caused numerous misunderstandings and arguments within the family. JL reports he does not feel new hearing aids will help because he believes his wife and son “tell secrets so that he cannot hear what they are saying.” JL’s wife reports she and her son were not telling secrets, but were discussing matters they did not want their 9-year-old granddaughter to hear. Ironically, JL reports that his 9-year-old granddaughter is the only person who communicates with him properly because “everyone else talks too fast, does not speak clearly, and mumbles.” JL has a history of noise exposure from his years as a farmer. He also had a melanoma on the helix of his right pinna that was removed. JL believes the earmold he was using may have caused the melanoma.