Senior couple with hearing loss drinking morning coffee together

Many aspects of your day-to-day life can be affected by Hearing Loss. Your hobbies, your professional life, and even your love life can be affected by hearing loss, for example. Communication can become tense for couples who are dealing with hearing loss. This can cause increased tension, more quarrels, and even the growth of animosity. If untreated, in other words, hearing loss can have a substantially negative effect on your relationship.

So, how does hearing loss effect relationships? These difficulties occur, in part, because people are often oblivious that they even have hearing loss. Hearing loss typically is, after all, a gradually developing condition. Communication might be strained because of hearing loss and you and your partner might not even be aware it’s the root of the issue. Workable solutions might be hard to find as both partners feel increasingly alienated.

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

Can hearing loss affect relationships?

It’s really easy to disregard hearing loss when it initially begins to develop. Couples can have considerable misunderstandings because of this. Consequently, there are some common issues that develop:

  • Couples frequently mistake hearing loss for “selective hearing”: Selective hearing is when somebody 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 a conscious action, in other cases, it’s quite unintentional. Spouses will often begin to miss particular words or phrases or these words and phrases will sound garbled when one of them has hearing loss. This can frequently be mistaken for “selective hearing,” causing resentment and tension in the relationship.
  • Feeling ignored: You would likely feel like you’re being dismissed if you addressed someone and they didn’t respond. When one of the partners has hearing loss but is unaware of it, this can frequently happen. The long-term health of your relationship can be significantly put in jeopardy if you feel like you’re being ignored.
  • Arguments: It isn’t abnormal for arguments to happen in a relationship, at least, sometimes. But when hearing loss is present, those arguments can become even more aggravating. For some couples, arguments will ignite more often because of an increase in misunderstandings. For others, an increase in arguments could be a result of changes in behavior (for instance, increasing the volume on the television to painful levels).
  • Intimacy may suffer: Communication in a relationship is often the foundation of intimacy. And when that communication breaks down, all parties may feel more distant from one another. Consequently, hearing loss might introduce friction throughout the relationship, causing more frustration and tension.

These issues will frequently begin before anyone is diagnosed with hearing loss. Feelings of bitterness might be worse when parties don’t suspect hearing loss is the root problem (or when the partner with hearing loss insists on ignoring their symptoms).

Advice for living with someone who is dealing with hearing loss

How do you live with a person who is dealing with hearing loss when hearing loss can result in so much conflict? For couples who are willing to develop new communication strategies, this usually is not an issue. Here are a few of those strategies:

  • Encourage your partner to come in for a hearing exam: Your partner’s hearing loss can be managed with our help. When hearing loss is under control, communication is generally more effective (and many other areas of tension may recede too). 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. We can help your partner better control any of these potential issues.
  • Patience: When you’re aware that your partner is dealing with hearing loss, patience is especially important. You might have to change the way you talk, like raising your volume for example. You may also have to speak more slowly. The effectiveness of your communication can be dramatically improved by exercising this kind of patience.
  • Try to communicate face-to-face as frequently as you can: For somebody who has hearing loss, face-to-face communication can give lots of visual cues. Your partner will be able to make use of facial cues and body language. And with increased eye contact it will be easier to maintain concentration. By giving your partner more visual information to process they will have a less difficult time understanding what you mean.
  • Help your partner get used to their hearing aids: This can include things like taking over tasks that cause significant stress (like going to the grocery store or making phone calls). There also may be ways you can help your partner get used to their hearing aids and we can help you with that.
  • Utilize different words when you repeat yourself: Normally, you will try to repeat what you said when your partner doesn’t hear you. But try switching the words you use instead of using the same words. Hearing loss can affect some frequencies of speech more than others, which means certain words might be harder to understand (while others are easier). Your message can be reinforced by changing the words you utilize.

What happens after you get diagnosed?

Hearing examinations are typically non-invasive and quite simple. Usually, you will simply put on a set of headphones and listen for particular tones. You will be better able to regulate your symptoms and your relationships after you get a diagnosis.

Take the hearing loss related tension out of your relationship by encouraging your partner to come see us for a hearing test.

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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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