My husband is 57 & the early onset of deafness is a struggle. Need advice. -

My husband is 57 & the early onset of deafness is a struggle. Need advice.


5 years ago my husband had intense cancer treatment for a tumor in base of skull. Maximum radiation and chemo treatment with a G tube for eating. 1 year ago, a tumor removed in mouth. He is deaf & even with devices, it is a difficult "new normal" for both of us and our daughter. His trouble shooting skills are low, he easily becomes frustrated - it is exhausting. Any advice...I am a young 54, healthy active and working. I am drowning in this "work."



As suggested above.

Face him when talking as he MAY get the drift of the conversation quicker. I know I seem to 'sort of lip read' a little. I have had no training. It seems that I do though, because if people face away from me and talk, I miss a lot. lol

Baby signs are good. Do them with a smile. It is not always the volume (but loud is good lol) but high/low tones. I have trouble with the low tones.

Finally get a large bag.
Bit enough to put your frustration in. Tell your husband he can use it too, then laugh.

Good Luck and hugs :)
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to BuzzyBee

Please consider looking into cochlear implants with a specialist at a hospital or qualified ENT. As a speech pathologist I know that sign language may be difficult to learn for anyone with a neurological deficit. In the interim, look into the “Signing Time” series by Rachel Coleman. It’s a fun, common sense and relatable way for the whole family to learn helpful as well as essential signs for communicating. Just remember-hearing aids and not like glasses. Nothing can restore a neurological hearing loss. Hearing aids can only amplify sound (noise), they can’t correct a hearing loss. Cochlear implants are the best option to clearly improve a significant or severe hearing deficit.
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Reply to sscoale

I would look up and use at least a few simple signs. Maybe even look at "baby sign" as it is simpler than ASL.
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Reply to Grammyteacher

It sounds like you have two problems. Your husband is going deaf, plus he has lost cognitive ability. You say he has trouble reasoning and is easily frustrated. That must be a great challenge as he may not be able to learn ASL easily.

For you to be working full time and trying to deal with all this must be exhausting,
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Reply to Tothill

After reading all the problems with hearing, I have to share my story. I had a slight hearing loss since I was 14 years old, it gradually got worse. At the age of 30 I started wearing hearing aids, hearing got worse. By age 58, I couldn't understand speech and was thinking of retiring (I'm a teacher). I received my first cochlear implant at 59. It was a miracle. I was able to stay working. Two years later I received the second cochlear. Today at 74, I count my blessings for being able to hear. I am still teaching part time. I have seen people in their late 80's get cochlear implants and they come alive again! Medicare does cover this.
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Reply to mbr944

Dear Elizabeth99, My mother slowly lost almost all of her hearing from the ages of 85 to 96 - nerve damage, so hearing aids did next to nothing. She was too old (and suffering from age-related short term memory problems) to learn sign language. I basically communicated with her via a small 'white' or dry erase board. It was slow going, but 'normal' conversation was possible, with me writing, and her responding verbally. Speaking slowly and loudly while facing her, and using body language and gestures were also somewhat helpful. She passed away last month. Blessings to you for the long road ahead.
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Reply to traysrus

I too have had gradual hearing loss since age 50. Wireless Headphones for the TV work beautifully. They run about $100 at Best Buy and they come with a charging station that you set them on at night to recharge. My nephew had hearing loss and then a brain injury after a car accident. His hearing loss is so bad hearing aids hardly help. His wife found a hearing "amplifier" on Amazon and he uses this during family gatherings. The amplifier sits in his shirt pocket and has earbuds.

Hearing loss is so frustrating for all involved. We tend to avoid crowded restaurants because it is impossible to focus on conversations when numerous people are talking at the same time. Staying home becomes the norm and with that depression. People tend to get snappy with us for asking you to repeat yourself. Please try to be patient and kind.
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Reply to Hugger1

My hubby, at 66, is almost completely deaf. I have adapted by making sure that I am looking at him, and he is looking at me when I talk to him. I do write notes for him, as he doesn't hear his phone, the doorbell, etc. ALexa is set to the loudest possible volume so he can enjoy his music.

Still working FT, I don't know how he manages.

Luckily, we are seeing and audiologist in 2 weeks and I am PRAYING that he will be helped by hearing aids. We'll see.

I also do use some very simple ASL signs for him, which embarrasses him, but I can do it in public and he "gets it".
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Reply to Midkid58

He is likely deaf due to nerve damage from chemo and radiation so if that is the case, hearing aids may not work. That being said, make sure he has seen an audiologist who can determine if there are any devices that might work for him. ASL is a great idea. If you live in or near a large city, you might also contact a communications specialist (usually located in a rehab hospital) to determine if there are any other devices that might help translate speech to text for him. Maybe start with a local speech therapist; (look for one with a PhD) to get some ideas. I live near Chicago and at the Rehab Institute of Chicago, they have a dept for communication and they work with patients to help them maximize whatever abilities they have. So something along that line might help. QLI, Quality Living Incorporated in Omaha also works with patients and part of their program includes communication assistance; don't know if they or other rehab hospitals would see someone whose primary issue is deafness but worth a try.
Not that you have time to do this research with your job and everything else going on with him. You can dictate into a smart phone and it will send emails via Siri transcribed to text so that might work too.
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Reply to dogparkmomma

NightOwl investigate getting your hubby earphones for the blaring TV. My dad was very hard of hearing and we got him wireless earphones and it was a Godsend. I could hear the TV through his earphones from across the room, LOL, but it wasn't nearly as bad as having it blaring through the whole room. They can make a world of difference. If you've got decent hearing, constantly listening to that loud noise is enough to drive you batty.
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Reply to blannie

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