Being able to effectively communicate with others is essential to building happiness and trust. This holds true whether you’ve been married for decades, are looking for that special someone, or want to stay connected with other family and friends,
But if you are struggling with hearing loss, communicating with others can be challenging. Most studies highlight the negative effects of hearing loss on relationships. However, the good news is that you can counteract these effects by using the right hearing devices.
The Impact of Hearing Loss on Relationships
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), over 48 million Americans suffer from some type of hearing loss. But only about 16 percent of U.S. adults between the ages of 20 and 65 who need hearing devices actually use them. Considering everything we know about hearing loss and its effects, this means that close to 85% of adults with hearing loss have a big opportunity to improve the quality of their lives.
Given that communication and strong personal relationships have such a strong correlation with happiness and well-being, good hearing is invaluable. Unfortunately whether it’s due to the cost, logistics, or the stigma associated with traditional hearing aids, an alarming percentage of adults choose to live with compromised hearing.
When Hearing Loss Causes a Communication Breakdown
Regular communication among couples, whether it be about trivial or more important matters, is vital to maintaining a healthy relationship. A British study of 1,500 people with hearing loss concluded that 44 percent admitted that hearing loss caused issues in their relationships and 34 percent said that the resulting breakdown in communication led to the end of a relationship.
What many couples fail to realize is that even the smallest communications serve to build and maintain intimacy in a relationship. When this is no longer possible, or becomes more difficult, because of hearing loss, it can have deteriorating effects on a relationship. Among the common effects are:
- Difficulty with shared communication
- Fewer social activities
- Loss of companionship
- Less intimacy
How You Can Reverse the Effects of Hearing Loss on Your Relationships
While hearing loss can put a significant strain on your relationship, there is hope. Here are some of the ways that using a hearing device can help reverse the negative effects of hearing loss.
When the frustration of a simple conversation becomes routine, both parties will stop trying. A study by the Action on Hearing Loss found that couples in relationships where one or both suffered hearing loss reported a change in the nature and content of their communications.
When you use a hearing device or hearing bud, you can stop clarifying statements or repeating sentences. You will both have more comfort in knowing that what is being said is heard and understood by the other.
More Activities Together
When one or both of you are having trouble hearing, it’s likely that you’re going to fall into a routine of only doing a few simple things together which don’t involve crowds or social events. This can quickly become boring and frustrating.
Hearing buds that enhance audio and provide noise cancellation features can help you enjoy life to the fullest once again. You can go to a concert, a crowded restaurant, or to the movies and hear everything clearly.
While spending quality time together is important in a relationship, hearing loss can make one partner dependent on the other. This can lead to anger and resentment when one person must always be present to act as the “interpreter,” and it doesn’t help the self-confidence of the one that needs help.
When you address treatable hearing loss with a hearing device, both partners can become more independent. That sense of confidence and self-esteem will return, and the relationship will be stronger.
Intimate moments with your partner are equally as important as the social ones. Without them, the feelings of distance and loneliness will only persist.
When you address hearing loss, you’ll be more in tune with those special moments. Whether it’s a whispered “I love you” or other words meant only for you, being able to make this connection is essential.
There are several new, innovative hearing devices that will transform the way you hear and connect with your loved ones. So-called “hearables” or enhanced hearing buds are the perfect solution when you’re not ready for hearing aids but need some help bringing the world around you into sharper audio focus.
Many of these advanced devices can be calibrated at home and will automatically adjust to fit your personal hearing profile. If you are struggling with hearing loss and want to lessen the impact that this will have on your relationships, learn more about how this technology can help.