Florida Hearing Matters - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Senior couple with hearing loss drinking morning coffee together

Many aspects of your day-to-day life can be affected by Hearing Loss. Your pastimes, your professional life, and even your love life can be impacted by hearing loss, for instance. For couples who are coping with hearing loss, communication can become strained. Animosity can develop from the increased stress and more frequent quarrels. In other words, left unchecked, hearing loss can negatively impact your relationship in significant ways.

So, how does hearing loss effect relationships? In part, these tribulations occur because the individuals are not aware of the hearing loss. After all, hearing loss is typically a slow-moving and hard to recognize condition. Communication might be strained because of hearing loss and you and your partner might not even be aware it’s the root of the issue. Practical solutions may be hard to find as both partners feel more and more alienated.

Frequently, a diagnosis of hearing loss coupled with practical strategies from a hearing specialist can help couples start communicating again, and improve their relationships.

Can hearing loss affect relationships?

When hearing loss is in the early stages, it can be hard to identify. Couples can have substantial misunderstandings as a result of this. As a result, there are a few common issues that develop:

  • Feeling ignored: You would most likely feel like you’re being dismissed if you addressed somebody and they didn’t respond. This can frequently happen when one partner is experiencing hearing loss and isn’t aware of it. The long-term health of your relationship can be seriously put in jeopardy if you feel like you’re being disregarded.
  • Arguments: It isn’t uncommon for arguments to happen in a relationship, at least, occasionally. But when hearing loss is present, those arguments can be even more frustrating. Arguments can happen more often too. For others, an increase in arguments could be a consequence of changes in behavior (for example, boosting the volume on the television to painful volumes).
  • Intimacy may suffer: Communication in a relationship is often the basis of intimacy. And when that communication breaks down, all parties may feel more distant from each other. Increased tension and frustration are often the result.
  • Couples frequently confuse hearing loss for “selective hearing”: Selective hearing is what occurs when someone hears “we’re having brownies for dessert” very distinctly, but somehow does not hear “we need to take out the trash before we eat”. In some cases, selective hearing is totally unintended, and in others, it can be a conscious choice. One of the most frequent effects of hearing loss on a spouse is that they might begin to miss words or certain phrases will seem garbled. This can frequently be mistaken for “selective hearing,” resulting in resentment and tension in the relationship.

In many cases, this friction starts to occur before any actual diagnosis of hearing loss. Feelings of resentment may be worse when parties don’t know hearing loss is the root issue (or when the partner with hearing loss insists on disregarding their symptoms).

Living with somebody who is dealing with loss of hearing

If hearing loss can lead to so much conflict in a relationship, how can you live with someone who is dealing with hearing loss? This will only be an issue for couples who aren’t willing to establish new communication strategies. Here are some of those strategies:

  • Help your partner get used to their hearing aids: This can include things like taking over chores that cause substantial anxiety (like going shopping or making phone calls). You can also ask your partner’s hearing specialist if there are ways you can help them get accustomed to their hearing aids.
  • Try to talk face-to-face as often as possible: For somebody who has hearing loss, face-to-face communication can give lots of visual cues. Your partner will be able to make use of facial cues and body language. It’s also easier to preserve concentration and eye contact. This provides your partner with more information to process, and that typically makes it easier to understand your intent.
  • Use different words when you repeat yourself: When your partner doesn’t hear what you said, you will typically try repeating yourself. But rather than using the same words over and over again, try to change things up. Hearing loss can affect some frequencies of speech more than others, which means some words may be more difficult to understand (while others are easier). Your message can be reinforced by changing the words you utilize.
  • Patience: This is particularly relevant when you recognize that your partner is struggling with hearing loss. You may have to repeat yourself more frequently or vary the volume of your voice. It may also be necessary to speak in a slower cadence. This kind of patience can be a challenge, but it can also dramatically improve the effectiveness of your communication.
  • Encourage your partner to come in for a hearing exam: Your partner’s hearing loss can be controlled with our help. When hearing loss is well-managed, communication is usually more effective (and many other areas of tension may go away as well). Safety is also a concern with hearing loss because it can cause you to fail to hear the doorbell, phone, and smoke alarm. It might also be difficult to hear oncoming traffic. Your partner can get help controlling any of these potential problems by scheduling an appointment with us.

What happens after you get diagnosed?

Hearing examinations are typically non-invasive and really simple. Typically, you will simply put on a set of headphones and listen for specific tones. But a hearing loss diagnosis can be an essential step to more effectively managing symptoms and relationships.

Encouraging your partner to touch base with us can help guarantee that hearing loss doesn’t undermine your happiness or your partnership.

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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.