Couples Therapy

Better hearing results in better relationships.

Retired school teacher Dennis Cianfrini has mostly fond memories of the decades he spent educating the youth of Buffalo, New York. Like many an educator, however, he has at least one battle scar to show for his service.

Dennis and Karen Cianfrini both got hearing aids from Dr. Duran. In addition to improving their hearing, the hearing aids improve their relationship.

Improved hearing has brought Karen and
Dennis closer than ever.

A former physical education teacher and track coach, Dennis, 74, has been suffering from a steadily increasing degree of hearing loss ever since a starter’s pistol accidently went off inside his gymnasium office one day some 30 years ago.

“Ever since that pistol went off, I’ve often had to ask people to repeat what they say to me,” Dennis explains. “A few years ago, my family noticed I was doing that more and more often. Finally, they said, Dad, you need to get your hearing checked.”

In part because her office is located very near their home but largely because he and his wife, Karen, were impressed with her credentials, Dennis decided to turn to Drianis Duran, AuD, at Gulf Coast Audiology, for help with his hearing issues.

That was in 2010. At the time, Dennis was fit with some of the best equipment available. He didn’t necessarily take advantage of it, however, often leaving his hearing aids out, especially while doing the handyman duties that now occupy much of his time.

And he probably would have kept right on doing that for years to come had Karen, a retired math teacher, not decided to go see Dr. Duran herself after she detected a significant loss of hearing this past fall.

“We first saw Karen in 2010 as well,” Dr. Duran reveals. “At the time, she had a slight hearing loss but not enough to require amplification. Seven years later, however, her hearing was much different, so this time, we fit her for hearing aids.”

Life-Altering Event

Karen describes the results as “life-changing.” The reason is that they inspired Dennis to return to Dr. Duran, who has since fit him with new hearing aids. That change and Dennis’ renewed commitment to wearing his hearing aids have in turn changed something else.

“It has actually improved our relationship,” Karen says. “We weren’t being combative or anything like that before, but we were having trouble hearing and understanding one another, and that can sometimes cause tempers to get short.

“The hearing aids have erased that problem. We hear much better now and understand better the points we’re trying to convey. We’ve returned to having that nice, conversational atmosphere again, so the outcome was a very hoped-for and pleasant one.”

Dr. Duran isn’t surprised by the outcome. She says it’s not unusual for one spouse to follow another into her office for treatment the way Dennis followed Karen and for both to leave with improved hearing and a healthier relationship.

“Research has shown that improved hearing can also improve relationships, and I’ve seen it,” she says. “I’ve treated a lot of couples over the years who have no idea how much their hearing problems are actually affecting their relationships.

“A husband may be turning the TV up louder than his wife likes it, or maybe a wife has to keep asking her husband to repeat himself, which can get annoying. Sometimes, couples will completely disengage because they can’t hear each other.

“But then we fix them, and I literally hear things like, Thank you for giving me my husband back, or Thank you for giving me my dad back. I can’t tell you how much improved hearing really does improve relationships.”

Karen says she and Dennis are more active and more social now that their hearing has improved. They say family and friends alike have all noticed a difference in the way they interact, which is why they wholly endorse Dr. Duran and Gulf Coast Audiology.

“Dr. Duran is just tremendous,” Karen enthuses. “She really works to get to know you and to help guide you toward the perfect auditory device that will not only improve your hearing but improve your life. We’re thrilled with her.”

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    • Gulf Coast Audiology

      Gulf Coast Audiology is owned and operated by Drianis Duran, AuD, a board-certified doctor of audiology. Gulf Coast Audiology offers the highest quality hearing aids, service, repairs, accessories and batteries. They also specialize in vestibul... Read More

    • Drianis Duran, AuD

      Drianis Duran, AuD, is a board-certified audiologist with clinical expertise in the areas of hearing loss and dizziness and balance disorders. She holds credentials from the American Board of Audiology, the American Academy of Audiology, the A... Read More