Senior couple with hearing loss drinking morning coffee together

Many aspects of your day-to-day life can be affected by Hearing Loss. Untreated hearing loss, for example, can affect your professional life, your favorite pastimes, and even your relationships. Communication can become tense for couples who are dealing with hearing loss. This can cause increased stress, more quarrels, and even the development of animosity. If ignored, in other words, hearing loss can have a significantly negative effect on your relationship.

So, how does hearing loss impact relationships? In part, these tribulations occur because the parties are not aware of the hearing loss. After all, hearing loss is typically a slow-moving and difficult to detect condition. Consequently, you (and your partner) may not notice that hearing loss is the root cause of your communication problems. Practical solutions may be hard to find as both partners feel more and more alienated.

Relationships can be improved and communication can begin 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 disregard hearing loss when it initially begins to develop. Couples can have substantial misunderstandings as a result of this. Consequently, there are a few common issues that develop:

  • Feeling ignored: When someone doesn’t respond to what you say, you’re likely to feel ignored. This can often occur when one partner is experiencing hearing loss and doesn’t know it. The long-term health of your relationship can be significantly put in jeopardy if you feel like you’re being disregarded.
  • Couples often mistake hearing loss for “selective hearing”: Selective hearing is when someone 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 instances, it’s quite unintended. One of the most common effects of hearing loss on a spouse is that they may begin to miss words or specific phrases will seem garbled. This can frequently be mistaken for “selective hearing,” resulting in resentment and tension in the relationship.
  • Arguments: Arguments are pretty common in pretty much all relationships. But when hearing loss is present, those arguments can become even more frustrating. For some couples, arguments will break out more often due to an increase in misunderstandings. 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 foundation of intimacy. And when that communication breaks down, all parties may feel more distant from one another. Increased tension and frustration are often the consequence.

These issues will frequently begin before anybody is diagnosed with hearing loss. If somebody doesn’t know that hearing loss is at the core of the issue, or if they are ignoring their symptoms, feelings of resentment could get worse.

Advice 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 is dealing with hearing loss? For couples who are willing to develop new communication techniques, this typically isn’t an issue. Here are a few of those strategies:

  • Make use of different words when you repeat yourself: Typically, you will try to repeat what you said when your partner fails to hear you. But try switching the words you use instead of using the same words. Hearing loss can impact some frequencies of speech more than others, which means certain words may be more difficult to understand (while others are easier). Changing your word choice can help strengthen your message.
  • Help your partner get used to their hearing aids: This can consist of things like taking over tasks that cause substantial stress (such as going to the grocery store or making phone calls). There also might be ways you can help your partner get used to their hearing aids and we can assist you with that.
  • Try to talk face-to-face as frequently as possible: 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. It’s also easier to maintain concentration and eye contact. By giving your partner more visual information to process they will have a simpler time understanding what you mean.
  • Encourage your partner to come in for a hearing exam: We can help your partner manage their hearing loss. When hearing loss is under control, communication is typically more successful (and many other areas of tension may go away also). In addition, treating hearing loss is a safety concern: hearing loss can effect your ability to hear the telephone, smoke detectors and fire alarms, and the doorbell. It may also be hard to hear oncoming traffic. We can help your partner better regulate any of these potential concerns.
  • Patience: This is particularly relevant when you know that your partner is struggling with hearing loss. You may need to change the way you talk, like raising your volume for instance. It might also be necessary to speak in a slower cadence. This type of patience can be challenging, but it can also dramatically improve the effectiveness of your communication.

After you get diagnosed, then what?

Hearing tests are typically non-invasive and quite simple. In most circumstances, people who are tested will do little more than put on specialized headphones and raise their hand when they hear a tone. But a hearing loss diagnosis can be an important step to more successfully 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 exam.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

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.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call or Text Us