Hearing loss not only affects your hearing, but also your relationships. Impaired hearing often takes a toll on hearing and communication, which are key ways we navigate everyday life and essential aspects of relationships. Even if you think you are concealing your hearing loss symptoms, when hearing loss remains untreated, those around you will be impacted. Fortunately, accessing the hearing healthcare solutions and resources that are available to you can transform your quality of life, including strengthening your relationships.
Understanding Hearing Loss Symptoms
To understand how hearing loss impacts relationships, it is helpful to be aware of the range of symptoms that people often experience. Hearing loss is a medical condition that reduces a person’s ability to hear and process speech as well as sound. This produces various symptoms that make it tough to hear and engage in conversations. These can include:
- Tinnitus: a ringing or buzzing like noise in one or both ears that only you can hear.
- Sounds are muffled or distorted.
- Struggling to keep up with conversations, especially in places with background noise.
- Lip reading to distinguish individual words.
- Asking others to repeat what they said or to speak louder.
- Being able to hear more clearly out of one ear compared to the other.
- Pretending to hear to get through a conversation.
- Experiencing confusion and/or miscommunication.
- Feeling tired or fatigued after conversations and social interactions.
These symptoms can be mild to more profound, taking a toll on communication. Conversations can become difficult and exhausting to navigate. Strained communication can impact relationships in significant ways.
Hearing Loss & Relationships
Untreated hearing loss can take a toll on relationships. Studies show that the impact of hearing loss on relationships can be multifaceted. This includes a study that was published by Clear Living, a healthcare and lifestyle platform. A total of 3,767 people were surveyed on their experience of hearing loss and reported:
- 89% of participants cited social and personal issues as the greatest impact of hearing loss.
- 58% of people said that their relationships suffered.
- 39% of participants reported that their conversations declined or were harder to follow.
- 35% struggled being out with friends in public places.
This data highlights the effect hearing loss can have on relationships – impacting communication and spending quality time with loved ones. To cope with these symptoms, people often avoid conversations as much as possible. This includes spending less time with loved ones as well as skipping out on social gatherings and activities. Social withdrawal is a common outcome of untreated hearing loss, directly impacting social life, mental health, and relationships.
In fact, people often report feeling unheard or ignored by their loved one with hearing loss. It becomes harder to have conversations, enjoy everyday activities, and spend quality time. This can contribute to distance, frustration, and tension in relationships. Over time, relationships can be strained.
Treatment Improves Relationships
Treating hearing loss offers life-changing benefits including improving relationships. Hearing aids are the most common treatment and these electronic devices provide ample support. Hearing aids absorb and process sound which significantly helps the ears and brain. This alleviates hearing loss symptoms and maximizes hearing capacity, strengthening hearing and communication.
With hearing aids, people are better able to engage in conversations and fully participate in activities. Hearing aids enable people to navigate everyday life with greater awareness and presence. The support that hearing aids provide allow people to spend time with others much more easily. Conversations are also enhanced, as people can fully engage and be themselves. This supports connection, intimacy, and quality time which improves relationships.
Prioritize Your Hearing Health Today
Treatment starts with one simple step: having your hearing health evaluated by a hearing healthcare specialist. Hearing tests involve a painless and noninvasive process that measures hearing capacities in both ears. This identifies any hearing loss you are experiencing which allows treatment to be tailored to meet your specific hearing needs. Your hearing healthcare provider will work closely with you to navigate your treatment options, ensuring that you select the optimal hearing aid. Treating hearing loss can transform your everyday life, health, and happiness.
Contact us today to learn more and to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation!