If you are struggling with hearing loss, chances are, you are not the only one being impacted. The ability to hear and communicate effectively is crucial for maintaining strong and meaningful relationships.
According to the NIH approximately 15% of American adults have some degree of hearing loss. While the perception is that hearing loss only affects the person who can’t hear well, studies show that untreated hearing loss poses a significant obstacle in our interpersonal relationships.
How Can Hearing Loss Affect Relationships?
When hearing loss starts to develop, certain tones and pitches are often first affected. Increasingly, you might have to ask people around you to repeat themselves. It’s okay to ask for clarification in a conversation now and then, but when it becomes commonplace, it can make conversations less enjoyable.
In order to avoid frustration and miscommunication, you may find yourself conversing less with your significant other, family, and friends. Additionally, you may have trouble hearing your phone conversations and needing to turn up the TV, which can lead to arguments.
Clear Living published a study in 2020. In this study, the platform examined the impact of hearing loss on social wellness, which includes relationships. In the study, 3,767 people were surveyed about how hearing loss affects their lives. The majority of people cited social and interpersonal issues as their most significant hearing loss problems. Information learned:
- 89% of individuals claimed social and personal problems as the greatest impact of hearing loss.
- 58% of people stated that their relationships had suffered.
- 39% of participants claimed that their conversations had declined or were harder to follow.
- 35% struggled with being out with friends in public places.
Communication is a Key Pillar of Relationships
Healthy relationships are based on communication. By practicing clear communication, we are able to resolve misunderstandings and resentments. Not only that, but we build closeness to one another. We can joke, play and relax. It is the casual, comfortable conversation that builds intimacy with our significant others and develops closeness with our friends and family.
As the data above shows, when we can’t hear, it can be more of a challenge to be casual and close. Relationships become strained, and our closeness begins to suffer. Social withdrawal is a common outcome of untreated hearing loss, directly impacting our relationships, mental health and social life.
In fact, people often report feeling unheard or ignored by their loved one with hearing loss. It becomes harder to have conversations, enjoy everyday activities, and spend quality time. This can contribute to distance, frustration, and tension in relationships. Over time, relationships can be strained.
How Hearing Aids Can Help With Your Relationship
Wearing hearing aids not only improves your hearing, it will help to rebuild any relationships that may have suffered due to broken communication. Here is how hearing aids will improve your communication and relationship:
- Hearing aids reduce miscommunication – There is enough work involved in relationships without adding hearing loss to the mix. A hearing aid is a simple solution to reducing miscommunication and maximizing your hearing potential.
- Hearing aids help reduce frustration and tension – Hearing loss can be frustrating not only for you, but for those around you as well. Despite understanding, it’s not your fault, it’s still tiring for them to repeat things to you, answer questions for you, answer your phone calls, and make other adjustments to their daily routine. Hearing aids would help return the relationship to its pre-hearing loss function.
- Hearing aids make it easier to have a real conversation – People who suffer from hearing loss tend to withdraw into themselves because conversing becomes embarrassing. Hearing aids, while they take some getting used to, allow you to engage in conversation and maintain your connection with your partner much better than if you didn’t wear them.
When you believe someone close to you suffers from untreated hearing loss and your relationship is suffering, one of the most healing things you can do is gently encourage them to get a hearing test. Likewise, if you know your relationships are suffering due to your untreated hearing loss, contact us for an exam.
A hearing assessment will diagnose the extent of a hearing loss and help us find the best hearing aids for your particular hearing loss. Surveys have found that those with relationship issues due to hearing loss noted a significant improvement when they began to use hearing aids regularly.
Get Your Hearing Checked & Contact Us Today!
Want to get your hearing checked? If you would like to speak with one of our hearing care professionals, get in touch today. Contact the Audiology Professionals team by calling (541) 228-9233. Alternatively, click here to contact us online.