Your hearing loss affects more than just you – it can have an impact on your relationships with friends and family members. It can especially affect your romantic partners.
The Negatives of Untreated Hearing Loss
More than 48 million people in the U.S. experience hearing loss, but only 20 percent seek treatment. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to an increase in depression, anxiety and social isolation, which can negatively impact your relationships.
A study conducted in the UK interviewed 1,500 people with hearing loss. Forty-four percent of participants reported that their hearing loss caused their relationships with their family, friends and partner to suffer. Thirty-four percent reported that the breakdown in communication led to a loss of relationships, including marriages.
Healthy Relationships Depend on Communication
Communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship, whether it is important discussions or chats that seem trivial. Hearing loss can cause conversations both big and small to be lost.
When there is a breakdown in communication, frustration can seep in. This can lead to resentment, loneliness, isolation and a lack of intimacy.
According to Patricia Chute, professor and chair of the Division of Health Professions at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y, “All too often spouses blame each other’s ability to listen when in fact it is truly a hearing problem that is chipping away at their ability to communicate.”
A report by Action on Hearing Loss conducted an interview with 23 individuals with hearing loss and their romantic partners. Researchers were looking to answer the question: “How do partners and their families respond to hearing loss?”
The results revealed that while those with hearing loss valued their partners and viewed them as an important source of support, they also confirmed that their partners seemed to have difficulty understanding their hearing loss. Specifically, their partners didn’t fully understand listening fatigue and how much background noise played a role in how well they could hear in various listening situations.
Both partners agreed on one thing – there was a significant change in communication as a result of hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Can Be Treated
Fortunately, there is a solution. Hearing aids are available to help you hear better and repair any rifts in your romantic relationships caused by poor communication. Contact the experts at Indiana Hearing Specialists to get started today.