“Dad does fine talking to me when it is just the two of us, but when we get together with the whole family he just seems to tune out.
I think it’s just selective hearing. Is that common?”
This is a very common thing for us to hear this time of year as audiologists. Most adults with hearing loss experience the type that introduces a great deal of distortion to sounds coming in. If your dad has even a little hearing loss, it makes it a lot more work for him to carry on a conversation with you. Extra noise from the family, the football game on TV, and holiday celebrations makes for even more work for him to organize the sound. At a certain point, the effort of hearing and listening become so much that folks will often check out of the small talk.
Good hearing care take this into account and helps manage the effort of listening through amplification and auditory training to help an individual receive and process sound as effortlessly as possible.
It sounds like it might be a good idea for your dad to come see us before the holidays!