Being proactive about your hearing health might be the best thing you can do for your relationship. It is essential to recognize as you struggle with hearing loss that your hearing issues affect everyone around you, particularly those closest to you.
Loss of hearing can impede healthy communication and build impediments to emotional connectedness. Untreated hearing loss can weigh a relationship down and can be hard to accommodate. You do yourself and your loved ones a favor when you do something about it.
How can hearing loss damage relationships?
If you and your loved one seem to be doing well, you may wonder if your hearing loss needs to be treated. Studies indicate that you can lose your emotional connection if your hearing loss degree interferes with everyday communication.
Researchers from the UK studied 1,500 individuals with hearing loss in 2009. 44% of those interviewed said the condition had adversely affected their relationship with their partner, friends, or relatives. The untreated hearing loss and related communication difficulties of 34 percent of the participants resulted in the end of a marriage or relationship.
Research published in the ASHA Leader in 2007 further highlights the detrimental impact of an untreated loss of hearing on romantic relationships. In this report, 35 percent of hearing loss participants said that their significant other had suffered more than any other relationship.
How does hearing loss hurt our relationships?
There is a rise in resentment on both sides. When one partner in a relationship has chronic hearing loss, they may begin to feel alone, depressed, and resentful for having to rely on the other person to be their hearing aid. Similarly, the hearing partner could start to suffer from the burden of always having to translate. As hearing loss tends to make individuals retreat socially, the partner may also feel the effects of a lack of companionship from having to adhere to this reduced quality social life.
We find it harder to communicate subtly. The potential for authentic communication sometimes lies between the lines, particularly in our intimate relationships. This could be something as simple as a whispered quip in the ear during a dinner party, or a quiet word of encouragement during a difficult time. Such moments seem to vanish with hearing loss – not because we don’t want to communicate, but because we don’t understand the little moments that make relationships magical.
Spending time with mutual friends and family becomes less enjoyable. When conversations are filled with requests to repeat what has been said, rather than free-flowing connection, enjoyment dissipates and people on all sides can become frustrated. That’s why those with chronic hearing loss frequently find themselves separated from social interactions, or bowing out of conversations. This can cause friction between couples, especially if the person with hearing loss suddenly refuses to spend time with their partner’s immediate family members.
Fortunately, if you have a hearing loss, there are ways to treat it, and the most common method is hearing aids.
What are the benefits of hearing aids for your relationships?
There are many drawbacks associated with chronic hearing loss, but there are just as many great benefits that come with being able to handle a hearing loss.
It has been shown that being fitted with hearing aids – and wearing them every day – could improve an individual’s overall quality of life, restore feelings of well-being, increase health, and help avoid cognitive impairment and dementia.
Hearing aids often help you to interact more comfortably with those around you, without the tension and embarrassment of frequent misunderstandings. Most importantly, hearing aids encourage you to get out of the house and participate in activities with those you love again. Whether you and your partner love to eat out, go to the movies, or catch up with friends in a cafe, a hearing aid could help restore those lost connections and help you and your partner enjoy the good things in life together.
We hope we have convinced you that hearing loss treatment has the potential to improve the connections with those you hold dear. If you think your relationship is being held back by hearing loss, the first step is to have your hearing tested. Contact us today to set up an appointment.