This Valentine’s Day, we honor the people who matter most to us. And rightly so, because our relationships give us all the things that make life meaningful and joyful.
But those in long-term relationships and productive marriages also recognize that relationships are not always easy, despite what romantic movies might show you otherwise. It can take a lot of effort to keep a relationship healthy.
How can we successfully handle the nitty-gritty so that we can continue to enjoy each other’s company? One crucial way is to keep up the lines of communication with our partners. But as we get older, one of the things that might be standing in the way of maintaining relationships is our physical health, primarily if it is affecting us without our knowledge. This is where the issue of hearing loss comes in.
Hearing loss: a hidden concern
Knowing how common hearing loss is and why early diagnosis and care are optimal is crucial. Over 40 million Americans are impaired by hearing loss, but the effect of hearing impairment on the general well-being of an individual is sometimes overlooked. Not only does untreated hearing loss make it more difficult to hear, but it is also associated with social isolation, depression, anxiety, and a host of physical and cognitive health conditions.
On average, there’s a 7-year delay between when people first experience hearing difficulties and when they seek care in that time, a lot can go wrong within the individual experiencing hearing loss and the relationships with those closest to them.
Hearing loss and relationships
It’s easy to get irritated if you’re trying to share something meaningful with your loved one, but they keep asking you to repeat yourself.
This may seem like a small inconvenience, but over time this can place a tremendous strain on relationships and lead to a significant communication breakdown. The lack of contact contributes to severe relationship issues between you and your partner. You will find yourself talking less and less as your hearing deteriorates, pushing a deeper wedge between you and your loved one. You know you have a severe issue when it becomes easier not to say anything at all.
Luckily, treatment is out there, and the most common form is the use of hearing aids.
How hearing aids can improve your relationship
An opinion poll of 300 elderly Australians with hearing loss showed that hearing aids have a wide-ranging positive impact on personal and social relationships. Two in three said their hearing aids helped them overcome the challenges of communicating with friends and family, and one in 10 said their hearing aids had improved their love life. Many pointed out that it was easier to participate in the private conversation using hearing aids.
How can we explain how hearing aids help with relationships? There are several ways:
- Increased independence: Being equipped with a hearing aid will restore the sense of physical independence and trust crucial to maintaining an enjoyable and fulfilling relationship.
- More attentive to each other’s needs: Hearing aids can also ensure that in the case of an illness or an emergency, your loved one can entirely depend on you. You will be the loving companion you want to be by taking action to cope with your hearing loss.
- More intimacy: Untreated hearing loss, coupled with the loss of those special moments, will result in an unwelcome loss of intimacy, and an empty distance may begin to form. You can bridge this distance by being able to understand your partner again.
Whoever is suffering from hearing loss, seek help either way.
If you believe that you might have hearing loss, do not hesitate to get a hearing test and review your treatment options with a hearing professional. However, if you suspect your partner may be losing their hearing, starting up a caring and open discussion is your next step. Hopefully, this will lead to them seeking treatment for themselves.