Hearing loss may feel like an isolating experience, but it affects more than just you. Everyone you interact with, including your friends, colleagues and family members, are effected – but no one else in your life is more affected than your romantic partner.
According to a 2007 survey by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 35 percent of participants reported that of all their relationships, their romantic relationships suffered the most because of their hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Can Cause Resentment
When the partner of someone with hearing loss has to repeat themselves often and take on the bulk of social responsibilities like responding to the doorbell and making phone calls, resentment can build up over time.
A report by Action on Hearing Loss conducted 23 interviews with families about the impacts of hearing loss. While many people with hearing loss viewed their partners as valuable resources for facilitating awareness about the condition, showing support and encouraging treatment, there was certainly a downside; even the most supportive partners had difficulty understanding how hearing loss impacts their loved one’s life.
Overall, both the hearing-impaired and normal-hearing partners agreed on one thing: their communication was heavily impacted.
Hearing Loss Is a Communication Barrier
Any relationship counselor will tell you that communication is one of the most important keys to a healthy relationship. When you have hearing loss, it affects your ability to hear and communicate with your partner. You may find yourself constantly asking them to repeat themselves and withdrawing from social activities like going out on dates.
“All too often spouses blame each other’s ability to listen when in fact it is truly a hearing problem that is chipping away at their ability to communicate,” explained audiologist Patricia Chute, professor at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY.
Many couples don’t realize that it’s the smallest communications, like passing comments of affection and humor, that build intimacy and affection.
How Hearing Aids Can Help
Multiple studies have shown that wearing hearing aids can improve your quality of life through better communication and healthier relationships.
To learn more about the benefits of hearing aids and to take the next steps for treating your hearing loss, contact Arizona Hearing Specialists today!