Woman and man cuddling on a park bench after getting hearing aids to improve their relationship.

Want to show how much you care? Truly listen when your loved ones talk to you. That calls for, of course, the ability to hear.

According to research, millions of people would benefit from using hearing aids because one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some amount of hearing loss. Regrettably, only about 30% of these individuals actually wear their hearing aids.

Neglecting your hearing loss leads to difficulty hearing, as well as higher dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. Suffering in silence is how many people deal with their hearing loss.

But it’s nearly springtime. Spring should be a time when we enjoy blossoming flowers, emerging leaves, beginning new things, and growing closer to loved ones. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by speaking openly about hearing loss?

It’s Important to Have “The Talk”

Studies have observed that an individual with untreated hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A cascade effect that eventually impacts the entire brain can be triggered when there’s diminished activity in the region of your brain used for hearing. Doctors refer to this as brain atrophy. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” concept at work.

Depression cases amongst those with hearing loss are nearly double that of a person with normal hearing. Individuals who have deteriorating hearing loss, according to research, frequently experience anxiety and agitation. Separation from friends and family is frequently the result. They’re likely to stop including themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they sink deeper into a state of sadness.

Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this isolation.

Solving The Puzzle

Your loved one might not think they can talk to you about their hearing problems. Fear or shame might be an issue for them. Perhaps they’re going through denial. In order to decide when will be the right time to have this conversation, some detective work might be needed.

Since you are unable to hear what your spouse or parent hears, you’ll have to depend on outward cues, like:

  • Agitation or anxiety in social settings that you haven’t previously noticed
  • Misunderstanding situations more frequently
  • Watching TV with the volume extremely high
  • Sudden trouble with work, hobbies, or school
  • Avoiding conversations
  • essential sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed
  • Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else can hear
  • Steering clear of places with lots of activity and people

Plan on having a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one if you detect any of these common symptoms.

How to Talk About Hearing Loss

It may be hard to have this discussion. A partner in denial may brush it off or become defensive. That’s why approaching hearing loss in the proper way is so important. You might need to adjust your language based on your distinct relationship, but the steps will be more or less the same.

Step 1: Tell them you love them unconditionally and appreciate your relationship.

Step 2: You’re worried about their health. You’ve done the research. You know that untreated hearing loss can result in a higher chance of dementia and depression. That’s not what you want for your loved one.

Step 3: You’re also worried about your own health and safety. An excessively loud television could damage your hearing. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud noises can cause, according to some studies. Your loved one might not hear you calling for help if you’ve fallen down or someone’s broken into the house.

People connect with others by using emotion. Merely listing facts won’t be as effective as painting an emotional picture of the possible repercussions.

Step 4: Come to an understanding that it’s time for a hearing test. Do it immediately after making the decision. Don’t wait.

Step 5: Be prepared for your loved ones to have some objections. At any point in the process, they could have these objections. This is somebody you know well. What obstacles will they find? Money? Time? Do they not acknowledge a problem? Do they think they can utilize homemade remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t improve hearing loss and can actually do more harm.

Be prepared with your answers. You may even practice them in the mirror. They don’t have to match those listed above word-for-word, but they should address your loved one’s doubts.

Grow Your Relationship

Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your loved one isn’t willing to consider it. But by having this discussion, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more satisfying life. Growing together – isn’t that what love is all about?

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