Being the social creatures that we are, we understand that our relationships are built on good contact. Via communication, we share stories, memories, jokes, and have meaningful discussions.
This applies even more to our romantic relationships. Most of us understand that relationship-keeping requires work, and communication is a fundamental part of this work.
When communication channels deteriorate, partly due to hearing loss, relationships may suffer. Read more about the effects of hearing loss on speech recognition and communication and how hearing aids can make a big difference.
Hearing Loss gets in the way of love
Only one in four people with hearing loss use hearing aids, leaving the remaining three quarters missing out on the part of their lives. Recent studies showed 44 percent of over 55-year-olds said they suffered in a romantic relationship because one or both individuals experienced hearing loss. On the flip-side, approximately 53 percent announced a positive impact on their relationship from one of them wearing hearing aids.
Instead of skipping out on celebrations, turning down noisy restaurant invites, or even arguing over the television volume, couples should be able to work through their hearing loss with treatment. Secure communication begins with the two parties being able to hear each other fully.
The knock-on effects of poorer connections
The problem of social contact is not confined to the partner of the person with hearing loss. Most hearing loss sufferers feel social isolation, whether or not they know it. It could start with avoiding big parties or events, and trickle down to cancel on smaller, personal matters. Large groups, noisy places, and dark environments can make it even more difficult for those with hearing loss to hear, engage in conversation, and contribute to social situations. It can make interacting with friends, especially groups of friends, very challenging when we have hearing loss. After social engagements, it is common for people with hearing loss to feel exhausted. If their hearing loss remains untreated, it may result in them isolating themselves from others.
Hearing aids can help
Hearing relies on a complicated series of events that starts with the ears and ends in the brain where information is processed, stored, and decoded’ into something we understand.
Most hearing-impaired people can be treated with hearing aids. Hearing aids are not able to cure hearing loss entirely, but they can help you understand better in social situations.
When you use hearing aids to boost hearing, the brain suddenly records long-lost sounds. It takes time, stamina, and flexibility to adapt to the amplification. In essence, you are retraining your brain to perceive sounds, concentrate on some, and block out others–just as you instinctively did when your hearing was normal.
Hearing aids can enhance your ability to understand and interact with the world around you, but they can’t “heal” your hearing loss. It is a tool to help you handle the problem, and can make a significant contribution to improved quality of life.
What hearing aids could help with
Fortunately, treatment with hearing aids could improve so many aspects of a relationship strained by hearing loss. In this way, the following benefits can be had:
More intimacy: Untreated hearing loss may lead to an unexpected loss of intimacy, along with the loss of those special moments. This can be restored with treatment.
Restored independence: When one depends significantly on the other due to untreated hearing loss, the condition can be stressful for both involved. But with hearing treatment, the person with hearing loss can regain the social confidence and independence lost.
Wider choice of activities: Hearing aids can, together with a sense of independence, make you and your partner more spontaneous with each other, opening up a world of possibilities when it comes to activities.
A more harmonious life: Small arguments from miscommunications and repetitions can build up over time. These can be lessened with the right hearing treatment.
More helpful: You’ll be able to help your partner more, from hearing the alarm in the morning for work to answering the door for them if they are recovering from illness.
Don’t wait any longer
Please do not take your ability to communicate for granted, take steps to protect it! It doesn’t make sense to wait until your marriage, or close relationship is in trouble to seek treatment. If you have experienced hearing loss, the use of hearing aids has the potential to improve your interpersonal relationships dramatically.