How Hearing Loss Interferes with Your Relationships
Hearing loss can be a very lonely experience, especially when it comes to communicating with loved ones. It can be frustrating for both sides of the relationship, particularly when the hearing loss hasn’t been diagnosed by an audiologist. Untreated hearing loss has been seen in studies to have a negative effect on our relationships with family and friends, particularly those closest to us, such as our romantic partners. Untreated hearing loss has been shown to be a major source of stress, especially among couples.
Hearing loss can cause anxiety for the partner and for the relationship. Communication is key in any kind of relationship, and if your opinion isn’t being heard, it can be very frustrating, whether you’re the one with hearing loss or your partner. Frustration sets in when communication breaks down. What's the end result? Both spouses experience feelings of loneliness and alienation.
What to do if you experience hearing loss
If your partner suggests you’re experiencing hearing loss, it’s important to try not to be offended. Try and be receptive of their thoughts and feelings. After all, if your relationship is experiencing difficulties because of this it’s important to take positive steps towards resolving the problem, not to mention your overall quality of hearing. The next step is to do your research on hearing loss, including whether your family has a history of hearing loss.
Next, you should have your hearing tested by booking an appointment with an audiologist. Hearing tests are quick and completely painless, and your audiologist will be able to tell you what might be causing your hearing loss. In some cases, hearing loss can be a temporary symptom of a problem such as impacted earwax that has built up over time.
However, if you do have permanent hearing loss, you can then speak to your audiologist about treatment available. There are many different types of hearing aids and, depending on the level of hearing loss you’re experiencing, you can find a hearing aid that will suit your lifestyle and budget.
Once your treatment begins, you’ll be able to hear clearer than before, therefore helping reestablish communication with your loved one. It’s important to get your ears checked at least once every year, so your audiologist can check to see if you need any changes to your treatment such as a change in amplification in your hearing aids.
What to do if your partner has hearing loss
It can be extremely frustrating when you’re trying to communicate with your partner when they have hearing loss, but it’s important to keep in mind that it affects their life just as much as it does yours.
If you think your partner has hearing loss and could benefit from hearing aids, you should speak directly to them about your concerns. Approach the subject gently, as it can be difficult to take on board for some people. Do some research into hearing loss, and how it could affect their life in different ways.
It’s important to encourage your loved one to book an appointment with an audiologist, as they will be able to quickly and painlessly diagnose the cause of their hearing loss and suggest appropriate treatment such as hearing aids. Here are some tips to keep in mind when communicating with someone that has hearing loss:
- Get their attention by tapping their shoulder or waving. Shouting or raising your voice is not only humiliating but distorts your voice more. For some people, loud noises can be uncomfortable too, so refrain from shouting.
- Speak to them face to face so your voice carries properly. Turning your head away may mean they miss part or all of what you’re trying to say. Remember to speak slow and clearly too.
- Remember to be patient with them if they mishear you. It’s as much your job as it is theirs to maintain effective communication in your relationship.
If you or your partner are experiencing hearing loss, call us today here at Atlantic Audiology at (401) 262-0170 to book an appointment with one of our audiologists. Hearing aids can be very beneficial for hearing loss and therefore, help keep communication levels high in your relationship.