Talking to Your Loved One About Hearing Loss
Open any book on successful marriages and they will always say that the most important thing to work on is communication. But what if one person has hearing loss? In a recent study about hearing loss, 48% interviewed admitted their marriages have suffered because of their spouses hearing loss. Communication breaks down and a serious strain is put on the relationship. This is a common phenomenon and many spouses of people who experience hearing loss are anxious to help their loved one.
This is easier said than done. Hearing loss is often met with outright denial from the person who experiences hearing loss. They may not want to appear weak and are often embarrassed by their condition. But they shouldn’t be – 1 in 3 people ever the age of 65 have a form of hearing loss. Here are tips to talking to your loved one about hearing loss.
Signs of Hearing Loss
There are several signs your loved one may have a hearing impairment:
- They don’t like talking in noisy environments
- They answer questions inappropriately or talk off-topic during a conversation
- They often ask people to repeat themselves
- They listen to the TV at too high a volume
- They find it particularly difficult to understand women and children
Choose the right situation to talk about the benefits
Beginning a dialogue with your partner about their hearing loss is a very delicate process. Be sure to choose the right time to talk, preferably when they aren’t stressed or annoyed about something. Pick a quiet spot away from any distractions so that their focus is on you.
In beginning the conversation, refrain from making accusatory or insulting remarks. Your general mood should be concerned and encouraging. Mention times where you have noticed them encountering difficulties understanding friends and family. Confess your fears that you may have about your marriage and the communication breakdown that will occur if the condition remains unchecked.
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
If they seem receptive to your comments, you can begin to list the many benefits of using hearing aids: the act of hearing becomes less tiring. It becomes easier to connect with friends and family and they will become more sociable as a result of their newfound hearing ability. Personalize each benefit by relating it to a particular close friend that they enjoy speaking to.
Allay misconceptions about hearing aids
There are several common doubts sufferers have about hearing aids. Some are worried about the lack of independence that hearing aids imply, so be sure to stress all the different things they can do that they are currently unable to do. Others are concerned about having a large mold of plastic connected to their ear for all to see. Remind them that many modern hearing aids are extremely discreet and Bluetooth connected to a phone – with the right device, they need never touch their ear the whole day.
Let them know how hearing loss affects your relationship
Finally, express your own struggles about coping with their condition. You may always have to watch TV at an unacceptably loud volume. You may have to repeat endless sentences for them or have to deal with members of the public on their behalf. Let them know that this work is having an effect on your health and you cannot continue doing it for much longer.
Armed with these pointers, hopefully your loved one will be able to find the help they need to improve their hearing experience.
You don’t have to live with untreated hearing loss. Contact us at Optimum Audiology today!
15247 Eleventh Street, Suite 200
Victorville, CA 92395
(844) 552-HEAR (4327)