Senior couple with hearing loss drinking morning coffee together

Many aspects of your day-to-day life can be impacted by Hearing Loss. Your pastimes, your professional life, and even your love life can be affected by hearing loss, for example. Communication can become strained for couples who are coping with hearing loss. This can cause increased stress, more quarrels, and even the growth of animosity. In other words, left unchecked, hearing loss can negatively impact your relationship in significant ways.

So, how does hearing loss impact relationships? These difficulties happen, in part, because individuals are usually unaware that they even have hearing loss. After all, hearing loss is normally a slow-moving and difficult to recognize condition. Communication may be tense because of hearing loss and you and your partner might not even be aware it’s the root of the problem. Workable solutions might be difficult to find as both partners feel more and more alienated.

Frequently, a diagnosis of hearing loss coupled with helpful strategies from a hearing specialist can help couples begin communicating again, and better their relationships.

Can hearing loss affect relationships?

When hearing loss is in the early stages, it can be hard to identify. Couples can have significant misunderstandings as a result of this. The following common problems can develop because of this:

  • It’s not unusual for one of the partners to blame hearing loss on “selective hearing”: Selective hearing is what happens when somebody hears “we’re having cake for dessert” very clearly, but somehow does not hear “we need to take out the trash before we eat”. Sometimes, selective hearing is absolutely unintended, and in others, it can be a conscious decision. Spouses will frequently start to miss particular words or phrases or these words and phrases will sound jumbled when one of them has hearing loss. This can sometimes lead to tension and resentment because one spouse confuses this for “selective hearing”.
  • Intimacy may suffer: Communication in a relationship is often the basis of intimacy. This can cause a rift to build up between the partners. As a result, hearing loss might introduce friction throughout the relationship, ultimately causing more frustration and tension.
  • Arguments: It isn’t unusual for arguments to take place in a relationship, at least, sometimes. But arguments will be even more frustrating when one or both partners have hearing loss. For some couples, arguments will break out more frequently because of an increase in misunderstandings. Hearing loss related behavioral changes, such as requiring things to be painfully loud, can also become a source of tension
  • Feeling ignored: When someone doesn’t respond to what you say, you’re likely to feel ignored. This can often happen when one partner is experiencing hearing loss and isn’t aware of it. Feeling like your partner is not paying attention to you is not good for long-term relationship health.

These issues will often 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 dismissing their symptoms, feelings of resentment could be worse.

Tips for living with someone who is dealing with hearing loss

How do you live with a person who has hearing loss when hearing loss can cause so much conflict? For couples who are willing to formulate new communication strategies, this typically isn’t a problem. Some of those strategies include the following:

  • Try to talk face-to-face as often as possible: For somebody who has hearing loss, face-to-face communication can give lots of visual cues. You will be supplying 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.
  • Encourage your partner to come in for a hearing exam: Your partner’s hearing loss can be managed 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 concern: hearing loss can effect your ability to hear the telephone, smoke detectors and fire alarms, and the doorbell. It might also be difficult to hear oncoming traffic. We can help your partner better manage any of these potential concerns.
  • Help your partner get used to their hearing aids: This can consist of things like taking over tasks that cause significant anxiety (such as going to the grocery store or making phone calls). There also may be ways you can help your partner get accustomed to their hearing aids and we can assist you with that.
  • Patience: This is especially relevant when you recognize that your partner is struggling with hearing loss. You might have to change the way you speak, like raising your volume for example. You might also have to speak more slowly. The effectiveness of your communication can be substantially improved by exercising this type of patience.
  • Make use of different words when you repeat yourself: When your partner doesn’t understand what you said, you will usually try repeating yourself. But instead of using the same words over and over again, try changing things up. Hearing loss can affect some frequencies of speech more than others, which means certain words may be more difficult to understand (while others are easier). Your message can be strengthened by changing the words you utilize.

After you get diagnosed, what happens next?

A hearing examination is a fairly simple, non-invasive experience. Usually, you will simply put on a set of headphones and listen for particular tones. You will be better able to regulate your symptoms and your relationships after you get a diagnosis.

Encouraging your partner to get in touch 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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