My father has mild Alzheimer's. My husband has to repeat and explain everything ever spoken to him all day long. Exhausting.
But what is odd, he can hear the smallest item fall on the other side of the house, on padded, carpeting. It apparently sounds loud enough to scare him. He'll yell loudly, "Are you okay?" We'll answer, "Yes, we are okay." And that he CAN'T hear. Causing us to repeat several times. The doctors have found nothing wrong with his hearing.
Is this normal?
I recently saw a wonderful Teepa Snow video in which she explains that often what looks to us like hearing loss is really comprehension loss. The sound is received just fine, but decoding it to make sense is impaired. Dad can hear the newspaper hitting the front porch, he can hear the dishwasher, and he can hear your voice. All of those sounds make about as much sense to him -- at least in the cases Teepa Snow is talking about.
Also, his hearing of other sounds might not be as good as you are giving it credit for. He hears something in the night and calls out to you. You assume the only thing he could have heard is that slight bump several rooms away. But he may be routinely "hearing" things that aren't there. The noise might have been part of his dream. He may have suddenly got worried about you, without hearing anything at all.
As others have said, a hearing loss is not an all-or-nothing condition. But in this case I suspect dementia is the problem, not anything going on in the ear.
No problem making light of my post - it's a nice touch of humor.
Sorry for making light of your post but I couldn't resist.
CarolAnn, that may be the situation you have with your father. I have found that we need to mute or pause the TV when we say anything to Mom. Even then it will have to be repeated several times until she is able to pick out all the words, or at least enough of them. We have had her hearing tested several times with different audiologists and they all agree that hearing aids wouldn't help her. Plus with her type of dementia and her personality, she wouldn't wear them anyway. She won't wear her reading glasses, preferring to just read the headlines or large print booklets.
It's so funny, sometimes after repeating something I said several times, I will just never mind, it wasn't important. And Mom will say back to me "Well, if it wasn't important, why did you say it in the first place?" I could swear that she is playing me like a fiddle at times like that.
But because they are unable to adjust to us, we have to adjust to them. Frustrating as it is. I wouldn't go so far as to say your situation is NORMAL, but it is common.
My Mom has very poor hearing, she hardly can understand even a hello from me on the telephone.... but she can hear my Dad calling out to her TELEPHONE.