Latest posts by Dr. Alexandra Tarvin (see all)
- September is World Alzheimer’s Month - September 22, 2019
- How Treating Hearing Loss Improves Your Relationships - August 16, 2019
- Addressing Hearing Loss May Improve Care of Older Adults - July 25, 2019
Communication in our daily lives from social situations to spiritual or religious congregations to sporting activities to family gatherings, form some the most important foundations of human interaction. Our jobs, loved ones, close friends and our work colleagues and peers form circles that radiate out to create a social and professional network that we construct as we experience and live our lives.
Our ability to hear is a major determinant in the quality of our communication. When our sense of hearing is compromised it manifests negatively in our relationships with others. The impact of hearing loss permeates and cripples our most important relationships.
We must in this case explore the effects of hearing loss on loved ones and strengthen the resolve to tackle hearing loss for benefit of the person suffering as well as their relationships.
Relationships under the duress of hearing loss
In an English survey, 1,500 people polled showed results as high as 34% linking the failure of friendships to marriages due to the hinderance hearing loss imposed upon their communicative abilities.
Regrettably, the impact on their daily life and their self-perceptions were negatively impacted as well. For example, “Two thirds (69%) said their hearing loss seriously hinders their ability to take part in everyday conversations with friends and family, causing 52% of those surveyed to feel left out and ignored in social situations.”
Almost 30 million people in the US that have had their hearing evaluated and require hearing aids but have not followed through. That is a very large number of people that are putting their personal and professional relationships at risk.
Below are a few of the symptoms listed by the partners of those with hearing loss in a study conducted by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People. The results were based on 23 interviews conducted on people over the age of 55 suffering hearing impairment and their partners.
Though both partners were actively involved in maintaining communication levels, barriers incurred due to hearing loss would often lead to miscommunication and create unnecessary conflicts.
Both partners felt increasingly alone as communication was impacted and never regained to previous levels.
Both partners also felt resentment due to lack of, or hampered communication resulting in a loss of their unique dialogue created through years of companionship and shared experience. The person suffering from hearing loss felt they couldn’t adequately express the physical and mental fatigue of trying to maintain communication.
In effect, hearing loss results in a lack of shared activities for both partners and instead a shared sense of isolation from each other and their social circles.
On a more positive note, partners with normal hearing provided a lot of support and encouragement for their hearing-impaired partners to get fitted with hearing aids, to remain as independent as possible and to protect them for social stigma.
A story of partnership, an insight into the effects of hearing loss on couples and a dinner that didn’t happen but changed everything. A highly recommended, informational and endearing read published in the Huffington Post gives us a brief, intimate glance into an experience through the eyes of a woman and her longtime partner suffering hearing loss. In the end, we find that there are ways to competently deal with hearing loss by addressing it head on. Your relationships can be retained and strengthened.
Hearing loss or even the hint of it requires immediate attention. It is an invisible condition which previously had very negative social stereotypes attached to it. That is changing fast. Hearing loss is growing public health concern in the US and affects people of all ages.
Elevate Audiology is looking forward to hearing from you or your loved one. You are welcome to bring your partner, family member or friend along for your appointment. We are well versed and well equipped to assess your hearing needs and are happy to answer any and all questions you might have regarding your hearing health. Your specific needs will be addressed and a treatment provided accordingly. Welcome to the beginning of a healthier, happier you!