My wife asked me to get a male stripper

Jeffrey J. Johnston, BC-HIS Hearing Health, Hearing Loss

Jeffrey J. Johnston, BC-HIS

Ok, don’t get too excited. This is not an “X” rated story.

A good friend of mine (who has a hearing loss) and his wife went to the local grocery store. They had a large list and so they split the list and were about to go their separate ways when his wife looked back over her shoulder and said, “don’t forget to get a “male stripper”. My friend stood there dazed and confused. Why, if his wife wanted a male stripper, would she tell him about it? Enter the hearing loss. What she actually said was “don’t forget the “nail clippers”.

The problem for most people with hearing loss is not that they can’t hear, it’s that they don’t understand. The brain tries desperately to fill in the blanks when we can’t hear clearly and sometimes it gets it right and well other times you think your wife is no longer happy with you and wants a stripper.

Often the first sounds to go are the high frequency consonants like “s” and “f”. And words can get jumbled up like teach, reach, beach, and peach or lift, list, lisp, and lips. This is why it sounds like some folks mumble. This is also why it might easier to understand some voices over others. My patients will often tell me, “if my wife spoke as clearly as you, I would hear fine”. I have a deep and resonant voice and I am used to raising my voice so that patients can understand. So the truth most likely is that your wife doesn’t mumble, you are not able to hear the soft consonant sounds of her speech which makes it sound like she is mumbling.

Often times the best solution is a hearing aid fit to your specific hearing loss. More importantly, the sooner you discover and treat your hearing loss, the better. For those who put off getting hearing aids when they need them, if they wait too long it can become increasingly difficult for their brain to adjust to new sounds and accurately discern what is being said. Bottom line is the sooner the better when it comes to treating hearing loss with hearing aids. So, the moral of the story is, get a hearing screening soon before spouse starts asking for some crazy things.


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