The Impact of Hearing Loss on Loved Ones
Hearing loss is often considered a health issue that only affects the person who has the condition. However, hearing loss also affects our loved ones including your spouse, children, grandchildren, friends, and can change the nature of these close bonds in a negative way.
The first one to recognize that there may be a hearing loss present is usually someone very close to you, like your spouse.
The impact of hearing loss on our social relationships can include…
Changes in the content and nature of communication
Spouses who would normally have involved conversations about the news or events, don’t speak to each other as much. This leads to a feeling of isolation and loneliness for ‘both’ partners. Both partners may feel as if they’ve lost the companionship they’ve grown to cherish.
Frustration among loved ones
Hearing loss may cause friction between family members, which can lead to resentment. For instance, people may feel you have ‘selective hearing,’ the TV may be up too loud when someone else wants to sleep, or others may hate having to constantly repeat everything.
Decrease in social activities
It’s often noted that a person with hearing loss reduces or stops participating in social events because of the difficulty they have keeping up with conversations. This may mean that a spouse either attends social gatherings alone or opts to stay home as well.
We often hear of people with hearing loss being in denial of their condition. Not acknowledging and treating hearing loss only makes it get worse over time. But what about if your family members are in denial? This may lead to the person with hearing loss being left out of conversations, jokes, activities, and even being treated as if they aren’t intelligent or being disrespected.
The hearing partner in a relationship must be the “ears” for the couple
When one partner has a hearing loss, the other partner may end up being responsible for things like phone calls, relaying information, or hearing emergency warning signals.
Limited communication with your children or grandchildren
As mentioned, a lot of times others may think you ‘choose’ to have ‘selective hearing’ as opposed to having a hearing loss. However, what may be happening is you’re finding it difficult to hear certain pitches more than others. People with hearing loss often have a hard time hearing women and children, whose voices tend to have higher pitches.
The strain that hearing impairment can have on our social relationships can be minimized if hearing loss is acknowledged and addressed.
An Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Specialist can help by working with you to come up with the best hearing solution.
At Hearing Solutions we recommend bringing a loved one with you to your hearing test appointment. They can help with providing the clinician pertinent information and can act as a second set of ears to take in the information provided by the Audiologist or Hearing Instrument Specialist.