Call or Text Us! 734-430-8520
Monroe Hearing Center - Monroe, MI

Senior couple with hearing loss drinking morning coffee together

Hearing loss can affect many aspects of your day-to-day life. Untreated hearing loss, for instance, can impact your professional life, your favorite pastimes, and even your relationships. For couples who are coping with hearing loss, communication can become strained. This can cause increased tension, more arguments, and even the development of animosity. In other words, left unchecked, hearing loss can negatively affect your relationship in significant ways.

So how are relationships affected by hearing loss? In part, these tribulations arise because the individuals aren’t aware of the hearing loss. Hearing loss typically is, after all, a slowly developing condition. As a result, you (and your partner) might not recognize that hearing loss is the underlying cause of your communication problems. Practical solutions might be hard to find as both partners feel more and more alienated.

Often, a diagnosis of hearing loss coupled with helpful strategies from a hearing specialist can help couples start communicating again, and better their relationships.

Can hearing loss affect relationships?

When hearing loss is in the early phases, it can be hard to identify. Couples can have considerable misunderstandings because of this. The following common problems can develop as a result:

  • Arguments: Arguments are pretty common in almost all relationships. But arguments will be even more aggravating when one or both partners are dealing with hearing loss. For some couples, arguments will break out more frequently because of an increase in misunderstandings. For others, an increase in arguments could be a consequence of changes in behavior (for instance, boosting the volume on the television to painful volumes).
  • Intimacy may suffer: In lots of relationships, communication is the foundation of intimacy. This can cause a rift to build up between the partners. As a result, hearing loss may introduce friction throughout the relationship, causing more frustration and tension.
  • It isn’t uncommon for one of the partners to blame hearing loss on “selective hearing”: Selective hearing is when somebody effortlessly hears something like “let’s go get some ice cream”, but somehow misses something like “let’s do some spring cleaning”. In some circumstances, selective hearing is a conscious action, in other cases, it’s quite unintentional. Spouses will frequently begin to miss particular words or phrases or these words and phrases will sound jumbled when one of them has hearing loss. This can sometimes lead to tension and resentment because one spouse confuses this for “selective hearing”.
  • Feeling ignored: When someone doesn’t respond to what you say, you’re likely to feel disregarded. This can often occur when one partner is experiencing hearing loss and isn’t aware of it. Feeling like your partner isn’t paying attention to you is not good for long-term relationship health.

Often, this friction begins to occur before any formal diagnosis of hearing loss. Feelings of bitterness might be worse when parties don’t know hearing loss is the core problem (or when the partner with hearing loss insists on ignoring their symptoms).

Living with somebody who is dealing with loss of hearing

If hearing loss can cause so much conflict in a relationship, how can you live with someone who has hearing loss? For couples who are willing to develop new communication techniques, this typically is not an issue. Some of those strategies include the following:

  • When you repeat what you said, try using different words: When your partner doesn’t understand what you said, you will normally try repeating yourself. But try switching the words you use instead of using the same words. Some words may be harder to hear than others depending on what frequencies your hearing loss impact most. Changing your word choice can help strengthen your message.
  • Patience: This is particularly relevant when you recognize that your partner is dealing with hearing loss. You may need to change the way you speak, like raising your volume for example. It might also be necessary to talk in a slower cadence. This type of patience can be challenging, but it can also drastically improve the effectiveness of your communication.
  • As much as you can, try to look right into the face of the person you’re speaking with: For somebody who has hearing loss, face-to-face communication can give an abundance of visual cues. You will be supplying your partner with body language and facial cues. And with increased eye contact it will be easier to maintain concentration. This provides your partner with more information to process, and that typically makes it easier to understand your intent.
  • Help your partner get used to their hearing aids: This can consist of things like taking over tasks that cause substantial anxiety (such as going shopping or making phone calls). You can also ask your partner’s hearing specialist if there are ways you can help them get used to their hearing aids.
  • Encourage your partner to come in for a hearing exam: We can help your partner manage their hearing loss. Many areas of stress will fade away and communication will be more effective when hearing loss is well managed. Additionally, managing hearing loss is a safety issue: hearing loss can impact your ability to hear the telephone, smoke detectors and fire alarms, and the doorbell. You might also fail to hear oncoming traffic. Your partner can get assistance managing any of these potential problems by scheduling an appointment with us.

What happens after you get diagnosed?

Hearing tests are typically non-invasive and quite simple. Usually, you will simply put on a pair of headphones and listen for specific tones. But a hearing loss diagnosis can be an important step to more successfully managing symptoms and relationships.

Take the hearing loss associated tension out of your relationship by encouraging your partner to come see us for a hearing assessment.

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
Why wait? You don't have to live with hearing loss. Call Us Today