Communication is the bedrock of any good relationship. But when something like untreated hearing loss makes it harder to connect, there can be serious consequences.
Hearing Loss & Communication Studies
A 2019 study titled “Hearing Loss as a Social Problem: A Study of Hearing-impaired Spouses and Their Hearing Partners” examined how hearing-impaired individuals and their partners manage the impact of hearing loss on their relationships. The researchers found that “both the hearing-impaired participants and their close partners bemoaned the loss of spontaneity and the difficulties of sharing small unexpected incidents, observations and small talk in their everyday interactions.”
While older, this 2010 study titled “In it together: the impact of hearing loss on personal relationships” reveals a timeless issue. The researchers interviewed 23 couples, one of which had hearing loss while the other had normal hearing. They found that hearing loss has an impact on relationships, as it changes the content and nature of communication between partners and their social activities.
In addition to focusing on the impact of hearing loss in the hearing partner, the researcher found that the hearing-impaired partner was also suffering. Even those who were supportive had difficulty understanding how listening fatigue and background noise played a role in their partner’s life.
This demonstrates how untreated hearing loss affects the lives of all those involved in the relationship.
Talking to Others About Hearing Loss
These studies mentioned above expand on the importance of communication in a healthy relationship. If a loved one is living with untreated hearing loss, now is the time for you to say something about it.
Choose a time when everyone is in a good mood and you know you can talk without being interrupted. Make sure to use a caring tone that is void of any judgement or condescension.
Explain to them how their untreated hearing loss is affecting the relationship and how you are worried about the physical, mental and emotional side effects of not seeking treatment.
Once you are finished having an open and honest discussion, it is time to take action. Offer to help find a good hearing professional to see and schedule their first appointment. If you are able, attend the visit with them for emotional support.
To learn more about hearing loss or to schedule an appointment for a hearing evaluation, contact Hearing Advancement Center today.