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Woman and man cuddling on a park bench after getting hearing aids to improve their relationship.

You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Listen to your loved ones, really listen. That requires, of course, the ability to hear.

According to research, millions of individuals would benefit from using hearing aids because one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some level of hearing loss. But only 30% of those people actually wear hearing aids, regrettably.

Diminishing hearing, depression, higher instances of dementia, and strained relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Suffering in silence is how many people endure their hearing loss.

But it’s almost springtime. It’s a time for new foliage, flowers, new beginnings, and growing together. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by speaking openly about hearing loss?

It’s Important to Have “The Talk”

Studies have found that an person with neglected hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A cascade effect that eventually impacts the overall brain can be initiated when there’s diminished activity in the region of your brain responsible for hearing. Doctors call this brain atrophy. It’s the “use it or lose it” concept in action.

Depression cases among people with hearing loss are nearly twice that of a person with healthy hearing. Research demonstrates that as a person’s hearing loss worsens, they frequently become anxious and agitated. The individual might start to seclude themselves from friends and family. They’re likely to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of depression.

Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this separation.

Solving The Mystery

Your loved one may not feel that they can talk to you about their hearing issues. They may be afraid or ashamed. They might be in denial. In order to identify when will be the appropriate time to have this conversation, some detective work might be needed.

Because it’s not possible for you to directly know how impaired your spouse’s hearing loss is, you might need to rely on some of the following clues:

  • Avoiding busy places
  • New levels of anxiousness in social situations
  • School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming more difficult
  • Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else hears
  • Watching TV with the volume extremely high
  • Important sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed
  • Frequent misunderstandings
  • Avoiding conversations

Look for these common symptoms and plan on having a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one.

How to Talk About Hearing Loss

Having this discussion might not be easy. You may get the brush off or even a more defensive response from a partner in denial. That’s why approaching hearing loss in an appropriate way is so important. The steps will be the basically same although you may have to adjust your language based on your unique relationship.

Step 1: Tell them you love them unconditionally and value your relationship.

Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re concerned. You’ve done the research. You’re aware of the higher dementia risk and depression that come with neglected hearing loss. That’s not what you want for your loved one.

Step 3: You’re also worried about your own health and safety. An excessively loud TV could damage your hearing. In addition, studies show that elevated noise can lead to anxiety, which may impact your relationship. If someone has broken into your house, or you yell for help, your loved one may not hear you.

People engage with others through emotion. Simply listing facts won’t be as impactful as painting an emotional picture of the possible consequences.

Step 4: Agree together to schedule an appointment to get a hearing test. Do it right away after deciding. Don’t wait.

Step 5: Be prepared for objections. At any point during the process, they could have these objections. This is somebody you know well. What will they object to? Costs? Time? Are they convinced it’s no big deal? Do they think they can utilize homemade remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t improve hearing loss and can actually do more harm.

Prepare your counter responses. You may even practice them in the mirror. You should speak to your loved one’s concerns but you don’t have to use this exact plan word-for-word.

Grow Your Relationship

Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your significant other isn’t willing to discuss it. But you’ll get your loved one the help they need to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this conversation. Growing together – isn’t that what love is all about?

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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.
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