Your hearing loss is not a personal problem; it affects all those around you. Numerous studies have shown that when left untreated, hearing loss can put strain on even the most secure relationships.
A 2019 study titled “Hearing Loss as a Social Problem: A Study of Hearing-impaired Spouses and Their Hearing Partners” looked at the social implications of hearing loss on romantic relationships. Through a series of interviews, 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.”
Back in 2010, researchers interviewed 23 people with hearing loss and their partners. In their report, titled “In it together: the impact of hearing loss on personal relationships,” the researchers found that hearing loss changed the content and nature of communication with their partner and affected social activities.
The partner with normal hearing also impacted the relationships. The researchers reported that even supportive partners had a difficult time truly understanding their partner’s hearing loss, including understanding listening fatigue and how background noises interfere with their ability to hear well.
Improving Your Communication
The key takeaway from these hearing loss and relationship studies is the importance of communication. While untreated hearing loss may slowly chip away at shared intimacy and connection between partners, talking to each other about hearing loss is a small step to repair this damage.
Talking to Your Partners About Their Hearing Loss
If you suspect your partner is living with untreated hearing loss, try talking to them about it. Make sure to select a time when you are both in a good mood and have enough time to have an undisturbed conversation. Avoid coming off as judgmental and rather present the facts:
- Their hearing loss is affecting your relationship
- Their hearing loss is affecting their health
Offer to make the first appointment for them and, if you are able, attend it with them.
Being Talked to About Your Hearing Loss
Being told you have hearing loss from someone you love is a hard pill to swallow. Be as receptive as you can be with the information they are presenting. Then take some time to do your research, learning about the different types of hearing loss and finding a doctor you trust.
Treating hearing loss with hearing aids can help fix a lot of these relationship issues when given time.
To learn more about hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, contact Decibel Hearing today.