One of the most basic foundations of any relationship is communication.
It should come as no surprise, then, that untreated hearing loss can have a profound impact on our relationships.
When a hearing impairment is not addressed, the struggle to communicate properly with friends and family can cause a person to withdraw socially, feel isolated, damage mental health and be physically exhausting – none of which will improve a relationship.
How Hearing Loss Hurts Us
- Mental Health: Individuals with untreated hearing loss are 30% more likely to experience anxiety and depression. This can put a damper on social interactions, making them less enjoyable for the person and confusing or frustrating others. This can lead to isolation and feelings of loneliness.
- Damages Memory: Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are twice as likely to develop in people who do not treat their hearing loss. As parts of the brain are no longer able to process hearing, they start to stop working and die off.
- Slashes socialization: Because someone may miss more of the conversations, they may start tuning out of social interactions. Others may notice the hearing loss and start leaving the person out of the discussion. If steps aren’t taken to correct the problem, the relationships can suffer or even end.
How You Can Address Hearing Loss
- Hearing Aids: If you have hearing aids, wear them. If you don’t, schedule a hearing evaluation with our The simple act of wearing the devices can make communication with loved ones simpler and much more effective.
- Improve communication strategies: The listener should be upfront about their hearing impairment to encourage others to speak clearly and maintain eye contact when talking. The partner without hearing loss can help by not yelling, but talking slightly louder and more slowly.
- Plan ahead: Set yourself up to have as much success as possible. If dining out, suggest going at a less busy time so there’s less background noise to deal with. Select tables away from the kitchen and entrance, and sit with your back against the wall.
- Eyes can help listen: While less than half of English is visible on the lips, visual cues can still help someone with hearing loss differentiate between similar sounding words, such as “home” or “phone.” They appear different on the speaker’s lips.