Ignoring hearing loss one of the harmful things a person can do to their overall health. Hearing loss impacts every facet of our lives. Our communication relies on our sense of hearing and communication is the foundation of every relationship we have. The impact of hearing loss extends to our friends, family members, colleagues and beyond. It forever changes the way we communicate and interact with our world on every level.
People closest to us are usually the first to notice symptoms of hearing loss. The condition is not insulated and cannot be addressed effectively unless strategies are put in place and the overall goal for assessment, diagnosis and treatment are considered.
When we speak of hearing loss with regards to our intimate partners, it is agreed that both parties have to overcome a fundamental change that hearing loss places upon their communication from its most nuanced to the its most pragmatic levels. Withdrawal and isolation occur for both parties, as do frustration and loneliness.
How do partners and their families respond to hearing loss?
The answers to the question above provided the basis of a report involving 23 interviews of people and their partners suffering from hearing impairment. The following are some of the affects that hearing loss in on the negative spectrum of the results:
- Decrease in social activities
- Decrease in shared humor and intimate conversation
- Decrease in shared activities
- Increase in loneliness
- Increase in miscommunication
- Increase in isolation
On the positive end, partners really valued the support that they received from their significant other in bringing to light the condition of hearing loss and being very proactive in seeking an assessment and treatment. Those suffering hearing decline expressed extreme frustration in being able to communicate how physical fatigue and loud background noise, was a constant source of distraction and discomfort from being able to communicate effectively.
Unfortunately, both agreed that what was regrettably lost were the more subtle forms of communication that they had developed throughout their partnership. Humor, “inside jokes” and modes of communication that develop within a partnership evolving through shared experiences and insights were very negatively impacted.
How do we mitigate these possible outcomes for ourselves and our loved ones?
In order to maintain a level of closeness and intimacy that we need as social beings we first need to be aware of the symptoms of hearing loss. It is the normal reaction for people to compensate for hearing decline as it progresses. Pay attention to your loved ones for they are usually the first ones to notice the signs.
Seeking treatment for hearing loss
Hearing loss no longer carries the stigma it once did and options to maintain our hearing health are broader than ever before. Before frustration and resentment begin to take hold of your closest relationships make an appointment to get your hearing tested by a hearing health professional. Make a list of questions you might have regarding your condition. Be open and honest about your symptoms, medications and lifestyle choices. Be aware that medications and genetics also have a role to play in hearing loss. Let your loved ones know that you are aware and would appreciate their support. Chances are good that they will be on board!
Hearing aids, assistive devices, apps and a plethora of tools and methodologies are available for your needs. There are almost 50 million people in the US that suffer from hearing decline. It takes up to 10 years for some that have already been diagnosed with hearing impairment to seek treatment.
It is proven via medical research and studies that ignoring hearing loss only compounds the condition. Give yourself the chance to strengthen your relationships with those you care about the most. Your partner, family members and others close to you will all benefit for your ability to address hearing loss.
At Absolute Audio, we are well-versed on the social and psychological impact hearing impairment has on people and can guide you in the right direction for help, support and information. We will also propose the best course of comprehensive treatment for your specific condition.
We encourage you to make a call and get you started on a better, healthier hearing life. It is our goal to make your first appointment with us and take the first, best step to a fuller hearing experience. Bring a loved with you. We look forward to seeing you soon!