How Untreated Hearing Loss Interferes with Your Relationships

Hearing loss leads to the inability to hear high-frequency noises such as birds chirping outdoors or grandkids playing downstairs. In noisy surroundings, it affects your ability to talk on the phone or follow discussions.

It also causes many people to feel socially isolated, retreat from social situations, and experience anxiety when meeting new people. Even meeting up with friends becomes difficult since you’re humiliated because you can’t comprehend half of what they say. 

But there are also longer-term effects. Hearing loss has also been associated with depression, dementia onset earlier, and faster cognitive decline. If you have untreated hearing loss, it can have a significant impact on your interactions with friends, family, and even your spouse.

Age-related hearing loss

Over 37 million Americans experience hearing loss, making it one of the most common conditions. Hearing health is affected by various circumstances, including loud noise exposure, music played at high volumes, injury, infections, earwax buildup, and even some medications linked to hearing loss, such as antibiotics and painkillers.

However, one of the most common causes of hearing loss is aging. The hair cells in the inner ear continue to die down as you get older, reducing your capacity to hear and understand noises around you. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, hearing loss affects 25% of seniors over the age of 60. It affects over 50% of those aged 75 and up.

The effect of hearing loss of communication

Simple daily activities become a challenge when you’re in a relationship with someone who can’t hear properly.  The most severe issue is a lack of communication. Even basic tasks can be complex for everyone when someone can’t hear clearly. The hard of hearing person continually requests for phrases to be repeated, interrupts, and becomes confused. They frequently misunderstand words and sentences and respond improperly, giving comments that make no sense. Hearing loss is likely to deny they have a problem and blame others, accusing them of mumbling or speaking too softly.

The individual on the receiving end becomes bored of being shouted at or repeatedly misunderstood. Fights about the loudness of the TV, what a friend said on the phone, or where to have dinner are all too typical. Couples end up yelling at one other as communication goes down, leaving little room for bonding, sharing experiences, or expressing affection.

Hearing loss affects relationships

With all the background noise and multiple conversations bouncing back and forth around the table, social situations become increasingly difficult for persons with hearing loss. Soon, the hearing partner may find themselves seeing friends alone since their spouse prefers to stay at home rather than face the truth that they can’t understand what’s going on around them.

According to a recent survey, hearing loss causes more fights and strains couples, dramatically increasing the likelihood of divorce. Breakup and divorce rates are up to four times greater in relationships where one partner has untreated hearing loss than in marriages where both partners have a regular hearing! It’s time to get help and rescue your relationship.

Protect your relationships

There’s a simple remedy if this sounds familiar. You’re experiencing this trend in your relationship while you or a loved one struggles with hearing loss. Get your hearing checked and hearing aids fitted today! Allowing hearing loss to govern how you speak with your spouse, how you connect with your friends, or what places you can eat in will not help your relationship.

Wearing hearing aids and restoring your hearing will allow you to get back to communicating the way you want to, having meaningful conversations that don’t turn into arguments, visiting friends without falling through the cracks, and enjoying interacting with your family or playing with the grandkids, all of which will help save your marriage.

Don’t put off getting help if you or a loved one has hearing loss. To schedule a hearing test, contact us today! If a hearing loss is discovered, we’ll discuss hearing aid choices to help you reconnect with the people you care about again.