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Senior couple with hearing loss drinking morning coffee together

Hearing loss can affect many areas of your day-to-day life. Your hobbies, your professional life, and even your love life can be impacted by hearing loss, for example. Communication can become tense for couples who are coping with hearing loss. Animosity can develop from the increased tension and more frequent quarrels. In other words, left unchecked, hearing loss can negatively impact your relationship in significant ways.

So, how does hearing loss impact relationships? These challenges arise, in part, because individuals are often not aware that they even have hearing loss. After all, hearing loss is normally a slow-moving and hard to detect condition. Communication may be strained because of hearing loss and you and your partner may not even be aware it’s the root of the problem. This can lead to both partners feeling alienated and can make it hard to find workable solutions.

Relationships can be improved and communication can start to be mended when hearing loss is diagnosed and couples get reliable solutions from us.

Can hearing loss affect relationships?

When hearing loss is in the early phases, it’s difficult to detect. This can lead to substantial misunderstandings between couples. Consequently, there are a few common issues that develop:

  • It’s not uncommon for one of the partners to blame hearing loss on “selective hearing”: Selective hearing is when someone effortlessly hears something like “let’s go get some ice cream”, but somehow misses something like “let’s do some spring cleaning”. In some cases, selective hearing is absolutely unintended, and in others, it can be a conscious decision. Spouses will often start to miss certain words or phrases or these words and phrases will sound garbled when one of them has hearing loss. This can sometimes lead to tension and resentment because one spouse mistakes this for “selective hearing”.
  • Arguments: It isn’t uncommon for arguments to take place in a relationship, at least, occasionally. But arguments will be even more frustrating when one or both partners are dealing with hearing loss. Arguments can happen more often too. Hearing loss associated behavioral changes, like requiring volumes to be painfully loud, can also become a source of tension
  • Feeling ignored: When someone doesn’t respond to what you say, you’re likely to feel ignored. When one of the partners has hearing loss but is oblivious of it, this can often happen. The long-term health of your relationship can be severely put in jeopardy if you feel like you’re being disregarded.
  • Intimacy may suffer: Communication in a relationship is often the foundation of intimacy. And when that communication breaks down, all parties might feel more separated from each other. Increased tension and frustration are often the consequence.

These problems will often start before anyone is diagnosed with hearing loss. If someone doesn’t know that hearing loss is at the core of the issue, or if they are disregarding their symptoms, feelings of resentment could be worse.

Living with somebody who is dealing with loss of hearing

How do you live with a person who is dealing with hearing loss when hearing loss can cause so much conflict? For couples who are willing to develop new communication techniques, this usually isn’t a problem. Here are some of those strategies:

  • Patience: This is especially true when you recognize that your partner is coping with hearing loss. You may have to repeat yourself more frequently or raise the volume of your voice. It might also be necessary to talk in a slower cadence. This type of patience can be challenging, but it can also drastically improve the effectiveness of your communication.
  • As much as possible, try to look right into the face of the individual you’re speaking with: For somebody who is dealing with hearing loss, face-to-face communication can give lots of visual cues. You will be supplying your partner with body language and facial cues. It’s also easier to maintain concentration and eye contact. This provides your partner with more information to process, and that usually makes it easier to understand your intent.
  • Encourage your partner to come in for a hearing exam: We can help your partner regulate their hearing loss. Many areas of stress will fade away and communication will be more effective when hearing loss is well managed. Additionally, treating hearing loss is a safety concern: hearing loss can impact your ability to hear the telephone, smoke detectors and fire alarms, and the doorbell. You might also fail to hear oncoming traffic. Your partner can get assistance controlling any of these potential problems by scheduling an appointment with us.
  • When you repeat what you said, try utilizing different words: When your partner doesn’t understand what you said, you will usually try repeating yourself. But instead of using the same words over and over again, try changing things up. Certain words may be harder to hear than others depending on which frequencies your hearing loss impact most. Changing your word choice can help reinforce your message.
  • Help your partner get used to their hearing aids: This can include things like taking over tasks that cause significant stress (such as going shopping or making phone calls). There also may be ways you can help your partner get accustomed to their hearing aids and we can assist you with that.

What happens after you get diagnosed?

Hearing assessments are typically non-invasive and really simple. In most cases, those who undergo tests will do little more than wear specialized headphones and raise their hand when they hear a sound. But a hearing loss diagnosis can be an important step to more effectively managing symptoms and relationships.

Encouraging your partner to get in touch with us can help ensure that hearing loss doesn’t undermine your happiness or your partnership.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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