Senior couple with hearing loss drinking morning coffee together

Hearing loss can affect many aspects of your day-to-day life. Your hobbies, your professional life, and even your love life can be affected by hearing loss, for example. For couples who are coping with hearing loss, communication can become strained. Animosity can develop from the increased stress and more frequent arguments. In other words, left uncontrolled, hearing loss can negatively impact your relationship in substantial ways.

So, how does hearing loss impact relationships? In part, these difficulties happen because the individuals aren’t aware of the hearing loss. After all, hearing loss is normally a slow-moving and hard to detect condition. Communication may be tense 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 practical solutions.

Relationships can be helped and communication can start to be repaired when hearing loss is diagnosed and couples get effective solutions from us.

Can hearing loss impact relationships?

It’s really easy to overlook hearing loss when it first presents. This can result in significant misunderstandings between couples. As a result, there are some common issues that develop:

  • Feeling ignored: When somebody doesn’t respond to what you say, you’re likely to feel disregarded. When one of the partners has hearing loss but is oblivious of it, this can frequently happen. Feeling as if your partner isn’t paying attention to you isn’t good for long-term relationship health.
  • Couples frequently confuse 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 absolutely unintended, and in others, it can be a conscious decision. One of the most common effects of hearing loss on a spouse is that they might start to miss words or certain phrases will seem garbled. This can often be mistaken for “selective hearing,” leading to resentment and tension in the relationship.
  • Arguments: Arguments are pretty common in pretty much all relationships. But arguments will be even more frustrating when one or both partners are dealing with hearing loss. For some couples, arguments will erupt more often because of an increase in misunderstandings. Hearing loss associated behavioral changes, such as needing volumes to be painfully loud, can also become a source of tension
  • Intimacy may suffer: In many relationships, communication is the cornerstone of intimacy. This can cause a rift to build up between the partners. Increased tension and frustration are often the consequence.

In many cases, this friction starts to happen before any formal diagnosis of hearing loss. Feelings of bitterness might be worse when parties don’t suspect hearing loss is the core problem (or when the partner with hearing loss insists on ignoring their symptoms).

Living with somebody who is dealing with loss of hearing

How do you live with somebody who is dealing with hearing loss when hearing loss can result in so much conflict? For couples who are willing to establish new communication techniques, this usually is not a problem. 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. Many areas of tension will fade away and communication will be more successful when hearing loss is well managed. In addition, treating hearing loss is a safety issue: 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 concerns.
  • Help your partner get used to their hearing aids: Perhaps you could do things like taking over the grocery shopping or other chores that cause your partner stress. You can also ask your partner’s hearing specialist if there are ways you can help them get used to their hearing aids.
  • Patience: This is especially relevant when you recognize that your partner is dealing with hearing loss. You may have to change the way you speak, like raising your volume for example. You may also have to speak more slowly. The effectiveness of your communication can be significantly improved by practicing this kind of patience.
  • As much as you can, try to look right into the face of the person you’re talking with: Communicating face-to-face can supply a wealth of visual clues for someone with hearing loss. You will be providing your partner with body language and facial cues. And with increased eye contact it will be easier to maintain concentration. This supplies your partner with more information to process, and that typically makes it easier to understand your intent.
  • Utilize different words when you repeat yourself: Usually, you will try to repeat what you said when your partner fails to hear you. But rather than using the same words over and over again, try to change things up. Hearing loss can affect some frequencies of speech more than others, which means some words might be more difficult 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 generally non-invasive and really simple. Usually, you will simply put on a set of headphones and listen for specific tones. But a hearing loss diagnosis can be an important step to more effectively managing symptoms and relationships.

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

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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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