Did you know that hearing loss is the third most common health issue older adults live with today? In fact, it is estimated that 25% of those ages 65 to 74, and 50% of those 75 and older, have disabling hearing loss. Hearing loss has significant effects on everyday life including interfering with relationships. Relationships can become strained as a result of untreated hearing loss symptoms which make it tough to connect with loved ones. This highlights the importance of treating hearing loss which can repair and improve relationships as well as your health and quality of life.
Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss on Relationships
In addition to impacting you, hearing loss also affects the people around you. Research shows that hearing loss can impact relationships in significant ways. This includes a recently published study that looked at the social impact of hearing loss. Published by Clear Living, a healthcare and lifestyle platform, this study involved surveying 3,767 people and key findings include:
89% of participants cited social and personal problems as key impact of hearing loss
58% of participant’s reported that their relationships suffered
39% of participants said their conversations declined or were harder to follow
30% found watching TV difficult while 35% struggled being out with friends in public places.
These findings reveal that more than half of the people surveyed shared that their relationships suffered as a result of their hearing loss. This data also highlights specific ways in which relationships are impacted by hearing loss which includes strained communication.
Strained Communication & Relationships
Hearing loss symptoms include tinnitus – a ringing or buzzing noise in the ears, sounds being slurred or distorted, speech sounding muffled, difficulty deciphering speech in environments with background noise etc. As you can imagine, conversations become tough to engage in when dealing with these symptoms which can be mild to severe. People often limit communication as much as possible to cope with the discomfort of these symptoms. Communication with loved ones can be reduced to brief sentences shouted out or even pretending to hear and not really engaging.
People with hearing loss may stop going out to restaurants and leave parties early or not attend to avoid dealing with having conversations. This may require loved ones to take separate cars or lead to arguments and frustration. Even doing something as simple as watching TV together can become difficult. You may want to increase the volume on the TV but the settings can be uncomfortably high for your loved one. You may be surprised to know that this is a common disagreement. Over time, symptoms that remain undressed can worsen which only amplify these effects. This can cause further tension, distance, and frustration in relationships which affects connection and intimacy; ultimately straining relationships.
Benefit of Treatment
It is important to know that there is a wide range of hearing healthcare services, solutions, and technologies that are available to you. Hearing loss can be effectively treated and treatment offers an opportunity to reconnect and live an active life. The most common treatment is hearing aids which are devices that are designed to absorb, amplify, and process speech as well as sound. This provides ample support, making it easier for the ears and brain to hear and understand what you are hearing.
Treating hearing loss absolutely transforms communication. People have greater capacity to participate in conversations. Hearing aids enable people to readily hear others, respond, and engage with greater presence and awareness. This makes effective communication much more possible which is essential for relationships. With hearing aids, people can have unrestricted and smooth conversations with their loved ones. This allows people to spend quality time together and enjoy everyday activities that are much easier to participate in. Strengthened communication improves relationships and connection.
Prioritize Your Hearing Health with Clear Hearing & Audiology
The first step you can take towards actualizing treatment is simple: contact us to schedule an appointment for a hearing test. Hearing tests are non invasive and painless, involving a process that identifies your hearing needs. Our practice is committed to providing effective solutions that meet those needs, helping you live your best life. Call us today to get started!