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

Want to show how much you care? Listen to your loved ones, truly listen. But you have to be able to hear in order to really listen.

According to research, millions of individuals would benefit from wearing hearing aids because one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some degree of hearing loss. Regrettably, only about 30% of these individuals actually wear their hearing aids.

Neglecting your hearing loss results in problems hearing, along with increased dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. Many people coping with hearing loss simply suffer in silence.

But it’s almost springtime. Spring should be a time when we enjoy blossoming flowers, emerging foliage, beginning new things, and growing closer to loved ones. Talking frankly about hearing loss can be a great way to renew relationships.

Having “The Talk” is Important

Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is 2.4 times more likely in people who have untreated hearing loss according to many studies. A cascade effect that ultimately impacts the overall brain can be initiated when there’s decreased activity in the part of your brain responsible for hearing. Doctors call this brain atrophy. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” principle at work.

Individuals with hearing loss have nearly two times as many cases of depression than people who have healthy hearing. Research shows that as a person’s hearing loss gets worse, they frequently become anxious and agitated. Isolation from friends and family is often the consequence. They’re likely to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they sink deeper into a state of depression.

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

Solving The Mystery

Your loved one may not think they can talk to you about their hearing issues. Fear or embarrassment could be an issue for them. Perhaps they’re going through denial. You might need to do a little detective work to decide when it’s time to initiate the conversation.

Since you can’t hear what your spouse or parent hears, you’ll have to depend on external cues, like:

  • Staying away from conversations
  • New levels of anxiousness in social situations
  • Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other sounds that you can’t hear
  • Not hearing imperative sounds, like the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or somebody calling their name
  • Steering clear of places with lots of people and activity
  • School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming more difficult
  • Cranking the volume way up on the TV
  • Misunderstanding situations more often

Plan on having a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one if you detect any of these common symptoms.

The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How

Having this conversation might not be easy. A partner in denial might brush it off or become defensive. That’s why it’s essential to approach hearing loss properly. You might need to modify your language based on your individual relationship, but the steps will be the same for the most part.

Step 1: Make them aware that you appreciate your relationship and have unconditional love for them.

Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re worried. You’ve done the research. You know that neglected hearing loss can cause an elevated chance of depression and dementia. That’s not what you want for your loved one.

Step 3: You’re also concerned about your own health and safety. Your hearing can be damaged by overly loud volumes on the TV and other devices. In addition, research has shown that loud noise can lead to anxiety, which may effect your relationship. Your loved one may not hear you yelling for help if you’ve fallen or somebody’s broken into the house.

Emotion is an essential part of robust communication. Merely listing facts won’t be as effective as painting an emotional picture of the possible repercussions.

Step 4: Agree together to schedule an appointment to get a hearing exam. After making the decision, make the appointment right away. Don’t wait.

Step 5: Be ready for objections. At any time in the process, they might have these objections. This is someone you know well. What will their objections be? Money? Time? Do they not see a problem? Do they think they can utilize home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t improve hearing loss and can actually do more harm.

Prepare your counter replies. You might even rehearse them in the mirror. They don’t have to match those listed above word-for-word, but they should answer your loved one’s doubts.

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 assistance they require to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this talk. 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.

Medical information dates as new research comes out all the time - if you have a concern about your hearing, please call us.

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