How Treating Hearing Loss Improves Your Relationships

In Hearing Health, Hearing Loss by Dr. Maya Berenson, AuD

Dr. Maya Berenson, AuD
Latest posts by Dr. Maya Berenson, AuD (see all)

Seeking hearing treatment is like turning the page from one chapter of life to the next. In the prior chapter, many people experience isolation, frustration, and disconnection from their loved ones, including intimate partners. However, the next chapter can be one of restored connections, expression, and freely flowing conversation. Let’s take a brief look at how the old chapter might look for someone with hearing loss before proceeding to consider the next phase for a person who has taken a step in the direction of treatment.

Hearing Loss and Your Relationships

If you have hearing loss, you will be familiar with some of the daily struggles and frustrations to communicate. Although your loved ones might be speaking to you, sometimes you can only make out fragments of speech. You might look at someone and understand by the look on their face that they are expecting a response from you, yet you might have missed the question in the first place. Some people respond to these experiences with frustration and even anger. Rather than admitting to these hearing limitations, you might find yourself blaming those closest to you for their failure to speak loudly and clearly. Others with hearing loss tend to isolate themselves and check out on conversation altogether. Rather than admit to a limitation, these people avoid social events or close communication. On the other hand, you might be the partner in a relationship who does not have hearing loss. Your experiences with communication might be similarly negative. If you ask a question, you might find it unanswered. If you try to pass on a piece of information, you might find later that it was never received. Feelings of isolation are powerful for the person with hearing loss, but intimate partners of those with hearing loss can experience them, as well. Whereas you might remember freely flowing conversation and little jokes peppered into your everyday conversation, those shared moments can feel like artifacts of the past.

Hearing Treatment and Your Future

Although this might look like a gloomy picture of intimate relationships when one or both members have hearing loss, there is hope on the horizon! Hearing treatment can restore the ability to converse freely and to share our deepest feelings with one another. Simply by wearing hearing aids, you can regain the ability to hear those cute little jokes and witty asides that used to bring so much joy into your relationships. Not only does hearing treatment strengthen your ability to communicate, but the effects on mood and emotions can be profound, as well. The frustration or isolation you might have felt in the past can disappear when you regain the ability to connect with the people you love. Negativity has a powerful effect on our closest relationships, and it can feel like a toxin infecting every encounter. When hearing is treated with proper assistance, that negativity can evaporate, leaving positivity in its place. Just as a negative attitude has a powerful destructive effect on relationships, a positive mental attitude can be similarly transformative and constructive in an intimate relationship.

If you suspect that your loved one is living with hearing loss, the time has come for an important conversation. Choose the right time to have this talk, and be sure to take a constructive approach in which you ask questions and listen carefully to the responses. Gently ask if your loved one is having any trouble hearing, then listen for the response. Although some people become defensive and even frustrated by the question, you will be creating an opportunity to discuss openly and freely. Don’t stop with one conversation. It may take time to open the possibility of seeking hearing treatment. The process of seeking hearing treatment is incredibly easy. With a simple appointment for a hearing test, you can find out the details of hearing loss and the range of hearing aid possibilities for your individual needs. Imagining the improvements to your primary relationships may be enough to prompt your loved one to seek assistance, so don’t delay to have your conversation. The rewards of healthy and freely flowing conversation await you, and the benefits will keep on giving!