Hearing Loss, Relationships, and Four Tips to Improve Them

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Hearing loss can interfere with relationships well beyond arguing with a spouse over the television volume. It’s isolating impact affects partners, friends, children, and colleagues. The content and nature of personal communication are limited resulting in misunderstandings both at home and at work.

Romantic Relationships
To establish trust and find happiness in a romantic relationship it is essential to communicate with each other. Couples have difficulty with communication at times, and if hearing loss is involved, this challenge becomes even greater. Date nights are limited to restaurants where noise levels are low, followed by searching for movies that include subtitles. Introducing new activities into your routine may be difficult as it forces you out of a comfort zone.

Friendships
An untreated hearing impairment frequently leads to social isolation and even suspicion. Conversations, even those with old acquaintances, lack depth. Attempts to compensate for a hearing loss such as sitting closer to a friend may help, but only temporarily. As a result, the moments spent chatting with old friends becomes less frequent.

Grandchildren
When caring for grandchildren, it is of utmost importance to be able to hear them. Hearing impaired grandparents will have difficulty hearing a child’s cries, traffic, and other warning sounds which make caring for the child not only hard but possibly unsafe.

Colleagues
Dealing with associates can be mentally exhausting for those with a hearing loss. Many who suffer from a hearing impairment find it embarrassing and terrifying to discuss their hearing loss among colleagues. As a result, deadlines may pass due to communication misunderstandings, and projects fail because of unclear instructions.

How to Improve Your Relationships
1. Tell people about your hearing aids. Telling people you have hearing aids will give them pause instead of believing you may be ignoring them. When you let others know you have a hearing impairment it may also stimulate a conversation concerning the best ways in which to communicate with you.
2. Have people look at you while speaking. Observing facial expressions and body language can help you understand a friend’s message. Eye contact also aids hearing devices designed to catch conversation originating in front of you.
3. Ask people to get your attention. A friendly tap on the shoulder or addressing you by name can assure your companion that they have your full attention while avoiding misunderstandings.
4. Suggest an ideal location for discussion. You can significantly improve a conversation with loved ones by conversing in a quiet area that is free of excessive noise. By suggesting a place while stating the reason why you show the other person that you value what they have to say and want to be certain you hear them.

Acknowledging your hearing loss with family and friends can significantly improve your relationships. You will feel less isolated, and your personal communication will be more satisfying. If a hearing aid fitting is in your future, share this news with your loved ones. Colleagues will appreciate knowing about your hearing loss and will most likely be very accommodating if you desire to share this information with them. Please remember that you do not have to endure a hearing loss alone.

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