Stephenville, TX

Abilene, Stephenville and Brownwood, TX

Hearing Loss Doesn’t Need to Negatively Impact Your Relationship

Cropped shot of two unrecognizable people holding hands discussing hearing loss with compassion.

Most people don’t want to discuss the impact hearing loss has on relationships, even though it’s a problem many people cope with. Both partners can feel aggravated by the misunderstandings that are created by hearing loss.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner isn’t it the perfect opportunity to show your love and appreciation for your loved one? Talking about hearing loss together is a great way to do this.

Having “the talk”

A person experiencing untreated hearing loss has a 2.4 times more likely chance of experiencing cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease according to some studies. A cascade effect that will inevitably impact the entire brain will be caused when the region of your brain responsible for hearing becomes less active. Doctors call this brain atrophy. You remember how the old saying goes, “use it or lose it”.

Depression cases are nearly half in individuals who have healthy hearing compared to people who have hearing loss. Research shows that as a person’s hearing loss worsens, they often become anxious and agitated. The individual could start to seclude themselves from family and friends. They are also likely to stop involving themselves in the activities they used to enjoy as they sink deeper into a state of depression.

Relationships between family, friends, and others then become strained. Communication problems need to be handled with patients and compassion.

Mystery solved

Your loved one might not be ready to inform you they’re experiencing hearing loss. They may feel embarrassment and fear. They could be in denial. You may need to do some detective work to determine when it’s time to have the conversation.

Here are some outward clues you will need to rely on because you can’t hear what other people are hearing:

  • Agitation or anxiety in social settings that you haven’t previously observed
  • Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other sounds that you can’t hear
  • School, work, and hobbies are starting to become difficult
  • Avoiding busy places
  • Not hearing significant sounds, such as the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or someone calling their name
  • Watching TV with the volume really high
  • Repeated misunderstandings
  • Avoiding conversations

Look for these common symptoms and plan to have a heart-to-heart chat with your loved one.

What is the best way to discuss hearing loss?

Having this talk may not be easy. A loved one might become defensive and brush it off if they’re in denial. That’s why discussing hearing loss in the right way is so important. You may need to alter your language based on your unique relationship, but the strategies will be basically the same.

  • Step 1: Tell them that you love them without condition and value your relationship.
  • Step 2: The state of their health is important to you. You’ve read the studies. You know that neglected hearing loss can result in a higher chance of dementia and depression. That’s not what you want for your loved one.
  • Step 3: You’re also concerned about your own health and safety. Your hearing may be damaged by an overly loud TV. Also, your relationship can be impacted, as studies have revealed that overly loud noise can cause anxiety. Your loved one might not hear you yelling for help if you’ve fallen or someone’s broken into the house. People relate to others through emotion. If you can paint an emotional picture of the what-ifs, it will have more impact than simply listing facts.
  • Step 4: Make an appointment to get a hearing test together. Do it immediately after making the decision. Don’t hold off.
  • Step 5: There might be some opposition so be ready. These could occur at any time in the process. You know this person. What will their doubts be? Will it be lack of time, or money? Maybe they don’t detect that it’s a problem. They might feel that homemade remedies will be just fine. (You’re aware that “natural hearing loss cures” don’t really work and could do more harm than good.)

Be ready with your responses. Even a little rehearsal can’t hurt. They don’t need to match those listed above word-for-word, but they should concentrate on your loved one’s worries.

Relationship growth

Discussing hearing loss isn’t easy if your partner doesn’t want to talk about it. Openly talking about the impact of hearing loss on your relationship can help to solidify a plan to address any communication issues and ensure that both partners are heard and understood. By doing this, your relationship will get stronger and your partner will take steps to live a longer, healthier life. And relationships are, after all, about growing together.


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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