Senior couple with hearing loss drinking morning coffee together

Many aspects of your daily life can be impacted by Hearing Loss. Your hobbies, your professional life, and even your love life can be impacted by hearing loss, for instance. For couples who are struggling with hearing loss, communication can become tense. This can cause increased tension, more arguments, and even the growth of animosity. In other words, left uncontrolled, hearing loss can negatively affect your relationship in substantial ways.

So, how does hearing loss effect relationships? These difficulties happen, in part, because people are often oblivious that they even have hearing loss. Hearing loss typically is, after all, a slowly developing condition. Communication might 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 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 stages, it’s difficult to detect. This can result in substantial misunderstandings between couples. The following common issues can develop as a result:

  • Arguments: It isn’t unusual for arguments to occur in a relationship, at least, occasionally. But when hearing loss is present, those arguments can become even more aggravating. Arguments can happen more often too. Hearing loss associated behavioral changes, such as requiring 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. Consequently, hearing loss might introduce friction throughout the relationship, leading to more frustration and tension.
  • Feeling ignored: You would most likely feel like you’re being ignored if you addressed somebody and they didn’t respond. This can frequently occur when one partner is suffering from hearing loss and isn’t aware of it. Feeling as if your partner is not paying attention to you is not good for long-term relationship health.
  • Couples frequently mistake hearing loss for “selective hearing”: Selective hearing is what happens when somebody hears “we’re having brownies for dessert” very clearly, but somehow doesn’t hear “we need to take out the garbage before we eat”. In some cases, selective hearing is a conscious behavior, in other cases, it’s quite unintentional. One of the most frequent effects of hearing loss on a spouse is that they might start to miss words or specific phrases will seem garbled. This can sometimes lead to tension and resentment because one spouse confuses this for “selective hearing”.

In many cases, this friction begins to occur before any actual diagnosis of hearing loss. If someone doesn’t know that hearing loss is at the root of the problem, or if they are disregarding their symptoms, feelings of resentment could be worse.

Advice for living with someone who has hearing loss

If hearing loss can create so much conflict in a relationship, how do you live with someone who has hearing loss? For couples who are willing to establish new communication techniques, this usually isn’t a problem. Here are some of those strategies:

  • Encourage your partner to come in for a hearing exam: We can help your partner control their hearing loss. Many areas of tension will fade away and communication will be more effective when hearing loss is well controlled. Safety is also a concern with hearing loss because it can cause you to fail to hear the doorbell, phone, and smoke alarm. It might also be difficult to hear oncoming traffic. We can help your partner better control any of these potential concerns.
  • Patience: This is especially true when you recognize that your partner is coping with hearing loss. You may have to repeat yourself more often or raise the volume of your voice. You might also have to talk more slowly. The effectiveness of your communication can be significantly improved by practicing this type of patience.
  • As much as possible, try to look directly into the face of the individual you’re speaking with: Communicating face-to-face can furnish 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 preserve concentration. By giving your partner more visual information to process they will have an easier time understanding what you mean.
  • Make use of different words when you repeat yourself: Usually, you will try to repeat what you said when your partner doesn’t hear you. But try changing the words you use rather than using the same words. Hearing loss can affect some frequencies of speech more than others, which means some words might be harder to understand (while others are easier). Changing your word choice can help reinforce your message.
  • Help your partner get used to their hearing aids: Perhaps you could do things like taking over trips to the grocery store 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.

What happens after you get diagnosed?

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

Encouraging your partner to touch base with us can help guarantee 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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