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 calls for, of course, the ability to hear.

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

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

But spring is almost here. Spring should be a time when we enjoy blossoming flowers, emerging leaves, beginning new things, and getting closer to loved ones. Talking openly about hearing loss can be a great way to renew relationships.

Having “The Talk” is Necessary

Studies have revealed that an person with untreated hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. When the region of your brain used for hearing becomes less active, it can start a cascade effect that can affect your entire brain. Doctors call this brain atrophy. It’s the “use it or lose it” concept in action.

Depression cases among individuals with hearing loss are nearly twice that of a person with normal hearing. Research reveals that as a person’s hearing loss gets worse, they often become anxious and agitated. The individual may start to isolate themselves from friends and family. They’re prone to stop including themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of sadness.

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

Solving The Puzzle

Your loved one may not think they can talk to you about their hearing issues. They might be scared or embarrassed. Perhaps they’re going through denial. You might need to do a little detective work to determine when it’s time to have the conversation.

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

  • Turning the volume way up on the TV
  • Ringing, buzzing, and other sounds that no one else can hear
  • New levels of anxiousness in social settings
  • Frequent misunderstandings
  • Sudden trouble with work, hobbies, or school
  • Important sounds, like someone calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed
  • Staying away from conversations
  • Steering clear of places with lots of people and activity

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

The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How

It may be difficult to have this talk. A spouse in denial may brush it off or become defensive. That’s why approaching hearing loss in the proper manner is so significant. You might need to adjust your language based on your individual relationship, but the steps will be the same for the most part.

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

Step 2: You are concerned about their health. You’ve done the research. You know that neglected hearing loss can cause an elevated risk of depression and dementia. You don’t want your loved one to go through that.

Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a concern. An excessively loud television could damage your hearing. Relationships can also be impacted by the anxiety loud noises can cause, according to some studies. Your loved one may not hear you calling for help if you’ve fallen down or somebody’s broken into the house.

Emotion is a key part of effective communication. Simply listing facts won’t be as impactful as painting an emotional picture of the possible consequences.

Step 4: Come to an understanding that it’s time for a hearing exam. After deciding, make the appointment right away. Don’t procrastinate.

Step 5: Be ready for your loved ones to have some objections. These could occur anytime during the process. This is someone you know well. What will they object to? Money? Time? Do they not acknowledge a problem? Do they think they can use home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t improve hearing loss and can actually do more harm.

Be ready with your answers. You might even rehearse them in the mirror. They don’t have to be those listed above word-for-word, but they should address your loved one’s doubts.

Grow Your Relationship

Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your loved one isn’t willing to consider it. But by having this discussion, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more rewarding life. Isn’t love all about growing closer?

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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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