Communication is the key to building strong relationships. You share so many moments with your loved one, talk about everything, have little inside jokes, and enjoy spending time together. But what happens when communication breaks down? Doesn’t it get harder to share your life and maintain close bonds? Sadly, hearing loss disrupts communication more than you think, and if your loved one has seemed distant lately, it’s time to talk about hearing loss before it does any more damage to your relationship.
Hearing Loss Puts a Strain on Close Relationships
You know that close relationships have ups and downs. You might not always agree with your loved one, and sometimes argue about the most insignificant things. However, when one of you has trouble hearing, communication is much more difficult, and you start to have a lot of misunderstandings. Communication used to be so effortless and easy but hearing loss has already taken a toll on your relationship.
Now, your loved one doesn’t hear half the things you say, is forever asking you to repeat yourself, and seems to never understand you, even if they can hear the words you say. You’re both a lot more irritable than you used to be, get easily frustrated or upset, and don’t enjoy spending time together as much as you used to. When it’s easier not to say anything at all, you know you’re headed for trouble.
Friendships Fall Apart
When your loved one has hearing loss, it’s not just your relationship that suffers. Other friendships will start to fall apart as your loved one has a harder and harder time communicating. They may even have started skipping dinner with friends, since it’s easier to stay home where it’s quiet than face a noisy restaurant, a table full of conversations, and the fear of being embarrassed by answering inappropriately. This puts even more strain on your relationship, as you become the only source of support for your loved one.
Take It Slow
Your loved one may not want to talk about their hearing loss. No one likes to admit they have a problem, and there’s a stigma attached to hearing loss. Your loved one may feel that acknowledging their hearing loss might be the same thing as admitting that they’re getting older. Be patient and take it slow. Remind your loved one that millions of Americans of all ages suffer from hearing loss, and that hearing loss isn’t just caused by aging.
Perhaps your loved one is denying that they have hearing loss and is blaming others for mumbling or speaking too softly. Help your loved one realize that hearing loss isn’t just affecting their conversations, but also makes them turn up the volume on the TV, miss the ringing of the phone, or fail to hear the alarm clock. Their hearing loss isn’t anyone’s fault, it’s in their ears.
Starting a Conversation About Hearing Loss
When you start a conversation about hearing loss, make sure you know your facts. Give your loved one specific examples of times their hearing loss has been very obvious, even to them. Talk about a friend of yours who also has hearing loss, and how getting a pair of hearing aids changed everything for them. Finally, give them a few facts about modern hearing aids. Your loved one maybe envisioning cumbersome, unattractive hearing aids that they would hate wearing. Make sure your loved one knows that modern hearing devices are slender, elegant devices that come in many styles, and have an incredible range of programs and features to help them hearing in any listening environment.
Active Hearing & Audiology
Once you’ve talked to your loved one about hearing loss, encourage them to take a hearing test. Call us at Active Hearing & Audiology to book a hearing test and offer to accompany your loved one to the appointment. You’ll both be amazed at the positive impact hearing aids will have on your relationship and on your life, allowing your loved one to be fully engaged with the world around them, get back to meeting with friends, enjoying time with the family, and restoring your relationship. You can have clear communication and share all those little moments that make life together so meaningful, and at Active Hearing & Audiology we’ll make it happen.