Senior couple with hearing loss drinking morning coffee together

Many aspects of your day-to-day life can be impacted by Hearing Loss. Your pastimes, your professional life, and even your love life can be affected by hearing loss, for instance. Communication can become strained for couples who are coping with hearing loss. This can cause increased stress, more quarrels, and even the growth of animosity. If untreated, in other words, hearing loss can have a significantly negative impact on your relationship.

So how are relationships impacted by hearing loss? In part, these tribulations occur because the parties aren’t aware of the 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 may not even be aware it’s the root of the problem. This can result in both partners feeling alienated and can make it difficult to find workable solutions.

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

Can relationships be affected by hearing loss?

When hearing loss is in the early stages, it’s difficult to detect. Couples can have significant misunderstandings because of this. As a result, there are some common problems that develop:

  • Feeling ignored: You would likely feel like you’re being ignored if you addressed someone and they didn’t respond. When one of the partners has hearing loss but is unaware of it, this can often take place. The long-term health of your relationship can be significantly put in jeopardy if you feel like you’re being ignored.
  • Intimacy may suffer: Communication in a relationship is often the basis of intimacy. This can cause a rift to build up between the partners. Consequently, hearing loss might introduce friction throughout the relationship, leading to more frustration and tension.
  • Couples frequently mistake hearing loss for “selective hearing”: Selective hearing is when someone easily hears something like “let’s go get some ice cream”, but somehow misses something like “let’s do some spring cleaning”. Sometimes, selective hearing is totally unintentional, and in others, it can be a conscious choice. Spouses will often start to miss particular words or phrases or these words and phrases will sound garbled when one of them has hearing loss. This can sometimes result in tension and resentment because one spouse mistakes this for “selective hearing”.
  • Arguments: It’s not unusual for arguments to take place in a relationship, at least, sometimes. But when hearing loss is present, those arguments can become even more aggravating. Arguments can happen more often too. For others, an increase in arguments could be a result of changes in behavior (for instance, boosting the volume on the television to painful levels).

Often, this friction starts to occur before any formal diagnosis of hearing loss. Feelings of resentment might be worse when parties don’t know hearing loss is the core problem (or when the partner with hearing loss insists on dismissing their symptoms).

Tips for living with someone who is dealing with hearing loss

If hearing loss can cause so much conflict in a relationship, how do you live with someone who has hearing loss? This will only be an issue for couples who aren’t willing to establish new communication strategies. Some of those strategies include the following:

  • Encourage your partner to come in for a hearing exam: Your partner’s hearing loss can be controlled with our help. When hearing loss is well-managed, communication is usually more successful (and many other areas of tension may go away too). Additionally, managing hearing loss is a safety issue: hearing loss can effect your ability to hear the telephone, smoke detectors and fire alarms, and the doorbell. You could also fail to hear oncoming traffic. We can help your partner better control any of these potential issues.
  • Help your partner get used to their hearing aids: This can consist of things like taking over tasks that cause substantial anxiety (such as going shopping 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.
  • Patience: When you recognize that your partner is dealing with hearing loss, patience is especially important. You might have to repeat yourself more often or vary the volume of your voice. It might also be necessary to speak in a slower cadence. The effectiveness of your communication can be substantially improved by practicing this kind of patience.
  • When you repeat what you said, try using different words: When your partner doesn’t hear what you said, you will typically try repeating yourself. But instead of using the same words over and over again, try to change things up. Hearing loss can impact 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.
  • As much as possible, try to look directly into the face of the person you’re talking with: For somebody who has hearing loss, face-to-face communication can give an abundance 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 simpler time understanding what you mean.

What happens after you get diagnosed?

Hearing assessments are generally non-invasive and really simple. Usually, you will simply put on a pair of headphones and listen for particular tones. But a hearing loss diagnosis can be a significant 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 sabotage 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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