How Hearing Loss Affects the Whole Family

Hearing Loss Affects The Whole Family

If you’re married, you likely had the phrase “for better or for worse” somewhere in your marriage vows. When you first say “I do”, however, it’s not always clear what the “for worse” part will entail. It could involve difficult experiences, arguments, illness, or a host of other things. For some, it’s having a loved one with hearing loss.

Effects of hearing loss on relationships

Unlike some medical conditions, which only affect one individual, hearing loss can affect the whole family. This includes a spouse, children, parents, other relatives, and family friends. Some of the negative effects of hearing impairment on relationships include:

  • Poor communication
  • Arguments between partners or family members due to misunderstanding or hearing things incorrectly
  • Financial strain (loss of work, having to pay for hearing aids or other assistive listening devices)
  • Decreased ability to enjoy favorite activities
  • Social isolation
  • Loneliness and withdrawal
  • Feelings of resentment and/or frustration
  • Decreased intimacy

How to prevent hearing loss from ruining a relationship

The good news is, hearing loss doesn’t have to have a negative impact on a relationship, whether it’s a spouse, partner, friend, or family member. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be well on your way to preserving the relationships you care about most.

  • Get their attention – When you’re speaking to someone with a hearing impairment, make sure they are paying attention to you first. Otherwise, what you have to say may fall on deaf ears … literally.
  • Stay on topic – While many people can easily follow changes in conversation topics, individuals with hearing loss often cannot. Their brain is already working overtime to process the information it’s getting, so changing topics quickly and without warning may leave them behind.
  • Slow down – Talk slowly and don’t be afraid to pause during the conversation. You might feel like silence is awkward, but it will actually help the person with hearing loss keep up with what’s being spoken.
  • Eliminate background noise – Individuals with hearing loss often find it difficult to filter out background noise like music or other voices, even if they have hearing aids. Turn down the music or move to a quiet room to provide an optimal environment for meaningful conversation.
  • Have some empathy – Do all you can to learn about and understand the characteristics of your loved one’s hearing loss. Put yourself in their shoes and it will help you understand what they’re going through and how you can help make things easier for them.
  • Check for understanding – When you’re speaking to someone with a hearing impairment, don’t assume they hear and understand you just because they nod their head. They could be just acting polite. Instead, double-check that your message was completely understood, especially if it’s important information.

Appropriate hearing loss treatment

Untreated hearing loss can be a silent killer of relationships … don’t let it affect yours. Instead, if you or a loved one experiences any kind of hearing changes, make an appointment with one of our audiologists for a thorough hearing test and evaluation. We offer comprehensive hearing services, including aural rehabilitation, a plan for the whole family to learn how to positively adjust to living with hearing loss.

Learn More about Advanced Hearing Group
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