How Treating Hearing Loss Improves Your Relationships

How Treating Hearing Loss Improves Your Relationships

In Communication, Family & Relationships, Hearing Health, Hearing Loss, Research by Dr. Jason Leyendecker

Dr. Jason Leyendecker
Latest posts by Dr. Jason Leyendecker (see all)

How many times has your partner been exasperated with you and accused you of not listening to them? If it’s a lot, the problem may be a loss of hearing, and it may be affecting your relationship in the way you haven’t considered.

Apart from diabetes and obesity, hearing loss in the US is one of three of the fastest-growing public health concerns. In the US alone, almost 30 million people need hearing aids but go without assistance.

It’s a widely recognized fact that people with hearing loss often don’t or won’t do anything about it until the problem becomes so obvious it can’t be ignored any longer. National statistics frequently cited say the average person waits about seven years from the time they first experience hearing loss before they seek help— some statistics also say it’s as long as ten years!

But in that time of waiting, think about the effect it is having on you and your partner.

Communicating clearly in a relationship

There is plenty of advice out there on how to communicate better. Here is some of the most common:

  • Talk with each other. You can’t read your partner’s mind, no matter how well you know and love one another. To avoid misunderstandings that can cause pain, frustration, resentment, or uncertainty, we need to communicate clearly.
  • Couples must find a way to interact which fits their relationship. It requires two people to have a relationship, and each person has various needs and types of communication. Healthy forms of contact require practicality and hard work. The connection will never always be excellent.
  • Listening is an important ingredient in effective communication. A good listener may promote an open and honest conversation with their partner.

How hearing loss affects relationships

Although this is excellent advice, physical issues can affect your ability to apply it to your relationship.

Hearing loss can lead to the loss of small but significant interactions. Frustration sets in when contact breaks down. This anger will lead to resentment, leading to further contact and intimacy breakdowns. The outcome? For both spouses, a feeling of quietness and loneliness.

According to an ASHA leader survey released in 2007, 35% of participants indicated that the one with their significant other suffered most from all their relationships.

The strength of people-to-people relationships depends on even the smallest pieces of contact we sometimes take for granted. Tone complexities and subtleties are no longer picked up, and both sides lose out. A study of 1,500 people by the UK charity Action On Hearing Loss found that two-thirds (69%) said their hearing loss seriously hinders their ability to engage in regular conversations with friends and family, causing 52% of those surveyed to feel left out and disregarded in social situations.

Hearing treatment improves relationships

Hearing treatment can go a long way towards mitigating the depression, anxiety, and social isolation we can experience from hearing loss. The same research by the American Academy of Audiology found that people who wore hearing aids were better placed to improve the relationship and work areas of their life, their sense of freedom, self-confidence, and their social life. Furthermore, families of the same users reported even higher rates of improvement with the use of hearing aids from their loved ones.

Forget the stigma

The stigma of hearing loss is weakened with each passing day, and opportunities to improve our hearing safety are broader than ever. For your needs, hearing aids, assistive devices, software, and a range of tools and methodologies are available.

Until frustration and resentment start taking hold of your closest relationships, make an appointment to get a hearing health professional to check your hearing. Make a list of possible questions concerning your condition. Be open and honest in choosing your symptoms, medications, and lifestyle. Be mindful that medical products and genetics also play a role in hearing loss.

Loss of hearing can cause real and lasting harm to relationships. The longer it remains untreated, the more it can do damage to your relationships with those around you. For this reason, if you have reason to suspect you are impaired by hearing loss, you must visit a hearing specialist as soon as possible.