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. That involves, of course, the ability to hear.

Research shows one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 is enduring hearing loss and millions would benefit from using a hearing aid. But only 30% of those people actually use hearing aids, unfortunately.

Neglecting your hearing loss leads to difficulty hearing, along with increased dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. Suffering in silence is how many people endure their hearing loss.

But spring is almost here. Spring should be a time when we take pleasure in blossoming flowers, emerging leaves, beginning new things, and growing closer to loved ones. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by talking openly about hearing loss?

It’s Necessary to Have “The Talk”

Studies have revealed that an individual with neglected hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. When the part of your brain responsible for hearing becomes less engaged, it can begin a cascade effect that can affect your entire brain. This is called “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” concept at work.

Individuals with hearing loss have almost two times as many instances of depression than individuals who have healthy hearing. People who have deteriorating hearing loss, according to research, often experience agitation and anxiety. The person might start to isolate themselves from family and friends. They’re likely to sink deeper into melancholy as they stop engaging in activities once loved.

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

Solving The Puzzle

Your loved one might not be ready to let you know that they are suffering from hearing loss. They may be afraid or ashamed. They may be in denial. In order to decide when will be the right time to have this conversation, some detective work may be needed.

Since you are unable to hear what your spouse or parent hears, you’ll have to depend on outward cues, like:

  • Misunderstanding situations more often
  • Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
  • Staying away from busy places
  • New levels of anxiousness in social situations
  • Ringing, buzzing, and other sounds that no one else can hear
  • Not hearing vital sounds, like the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or somebody calling their name
  • Cranking the volume way up on the TV
  • Avoiding conversations

Plan to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one if you notice any of these common signs.

How to Talk About Hearing Loss

It might be hard to have this conversation. You might get the brush off or even a more defensive response from a spouse in denial. That’s why it’s essential to approach hearing loss appropriately. You may need to adjust your language based on your unique relationship, but the steps will be more or less the same.

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

Step 2: You’re concerned about their health. You’ve read the studies. You know that untreated hearing loss can lead to a higher chance of dementia and depression. You don’t want your loved one to go through that.

Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a concern. Your hearing can be harmed by overly high volumes on the TV and other devices. In addition, research has shown that elevated noise can create anxiety, which may effect your relationship. Your loved one might not hear you calling for help if you’ve fallen or somebody’s broken into the house.

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

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

Step 5: Be ready for your loved ones to have some objections. At any time during the process, they may have these objections. This is someone you know well. What will they object to? Money? Time? Do they not admit to a problem? Are they considering trying out home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t benefit hearing loss and can actually do more harm.

Prepare your counter replies. Perhaps you rehearse them beforehand. You should address your loved one’s doubts but you don’t have to adhere to this exact plan word-for-word.

Grow Your Relationship

Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your loved one isn’t willing to consider it. But you’ll get your loved one the help they need to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this discussion. Growing together – isn’t that what love is all about?

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References

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-common-problem-older-adults
https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing#:~:text=About%2028.8%20million%20U.S.%20adults%20could%20benefit%20from%20using%20hearing%20aids.
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-hidden-risks-of-hearing-loss
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5403920/
https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/news/2014/nidcd-researchers-find-strong-link-between-hearing-loss-and-depression-adults

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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