Latest posts by Jennifer G. Mayer, Au.D., CCC-A (see all)
- How Treating Hearing Loss Improves Your Relationships - February 13, 2020
- The Benefits of Being Social for Older Americans - February 7, 2020
- A Healthy Diet Can Lower the Risk of Hearing Loss - January 24, 2020
Did you know that almost 20% of Americans have a hearing loss? Despite the large number of people struggling to hear, living with untreated hearing loss can be an extremely isolating experience, and you may feel completely alone in the world. Not only does this hearing loss and the feeling of loneliness affect you, it also affects your loved ones, and hearing loss has a very negative affect on your ability to connect with friends, and foster the relationships that matter the most.
Hearing Loss is a Family Affair
You may think that only you are affected by your hearing loss, but the truth is that when you’re living with a hearing loss, your whole family suffers the consequences. Your spouse, who’s shared so many moments of connection, feels like they’re losing you, and as you lose your hearing, communication breaks down. You have to ask your spouse to repeat themselves over and over again, and if they’re trying to share a memory or a personal story, they’ll get tired of saying the punchline again. When you can’t communicate clearly, your closest relationships suffer, and both you and your spouse will feel isolated and alone.
Your family will also notice the negative effects of your hearing loss, as you refuse to answer the phone due to your inability to hear what’s been said, or can’t understand the stories your grandchildren are so eager to share with you. When you’re trying to have family movie night, everyone gets upset when you turn up the volume far too loud, or keep asking what someone on the TV said. Hearing loss puts a strain on your entire family, and your hearing loss will hurt the people you care about the most.
Hearing Loss and Friendships
When it comes to your friendships, hearing loss is a huge barrier to connecting with your friends. You used to love going to a ball game with the group, or meeting at a coffee shop to talk about the news. Now you struggle to follow conversations, and you can’t ever quite understand what’s been said. You often feel embarrassed when you miss the punchline of a joke, or mishear a question or comment and answer incorrectly.
As your hearing loss worsens, you feel incapable of connecting like you used to, and you often decide to stay home rather than go to a social event that’s become a torturous affair rather than a great evening. Living with an untreated hearing loss will affect your relationships far more than you’d like, and as your hearing loss progresses, you’ll begin to feel even more alone in the world, and may suffer from high levels of stress, or feelings of anxiety and depression.
How Treating Hearing Loss Improves Your Marriage and Family Relationships
Your family feels the brunt of your hearing loss, and treating hearing loss with hearing aids will improve your relationships with the people you value the most. You’ll be able to foster a supportive and nurturing relationship with your spouse, and maintain great communication despite your hearing loss. Hearing loss can save your marriage, and your partner won’t have to yell to be heard, repeat themselves, or try to help you connect with people during social events. You’ll enjoy watching TV at the same volume, and easily discuss all your favorite plot lines. With hearing aids, you may find that phone calls are more accessible, making it easier to talk to your kids even when they’re not there, and learn all about the wonderful people your grandchildren are becoming.
How Treating Hearing Loss Improves Your Friendships
When you can hear clearly, you’ll feel far less stressed, easily concentrate on what’s being said, and have more energy to participate in conversations with your friends. You’ll once again have quality time to dedicate to your friends, and your hearing loss won’t put a strain on the relationships that bring you joy. With hearing aids, you won’t feel like the sounds around you are muffled, and conversations will be easy to understand. Not only will you hear every word, you’ll even be able to contribute to the conversation again, and be an active part of your friend group. Treating hearing loss will improve your relationships with all your loved ones, and improve your quality of life.