Building Connections with Hearing Loss

Up to 15% of adults in the US experience a hearing impairment. Around the world, hearing loss affects millions of individuals. We rely on our sense of hearing, and often don’t realize just how much until we start to experience hearing difficulties. 

A recent American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) poll showed just how much. Up to 80% of Americans “say maintaining their hearing health is extremely important or very important to their quality of life.” 

Despite this, many adults neglect annual hearing assessments. Estimates show that only 20% of adults have had their hearing tested in the past 5 years. That’s compared to over 60% of us who have had an eye test.  

The challenge with hearing loss, is that it’s often a gradual progression. As it happens over time, many don’t even realize that their hearing has changed. In many cases, it’s our friends and family who notice something may have changed. 

Untreated hearing loss can present unique challenges. This includes communication challenges. It can also make it difficult to build and maintain connections. We’re exploring why, as well as providing tips on building connections with hearing loss.  

Building Connections with Hearing Loss

Your first step toward building better connections is seeking treatment for your hearing loss. Your hearing healthcare specialist can establish what your baseline hearing is. They can then recommend a number of options. One potential option to improve your hearing are hearing aid devices. 

To help highlight how important seeking help can be, we’re taking a look at how hearing loss can affect those closest to you. 

How Hearing Loss Affects Relationships

It’s estimated that only 20 percent of people who could benefit from hearing aids actually wear them. An ASHA Leader’s study found that of the participants with hearing loss, 35% said that out of all their relationships, the one with their significant other suffered the most. 

Another study carried out in Britain highlighted how hearing loss can affect relationships:

  • 69% reported that their ability to participate in everyday conversations with friends and family is hindered by their hearing loss. 
  • 44% highlighted that hearing loss has caused the relationships with their partner, friends, or family to suffer.
  • 34% reported that the breakdown in communication as a result of hearing loss caused them to lose touch with friends. In some cases, marriages fell apart.

Building Connections with Hearing Aids

If you recognize that your hearing is impacting your relationship with others, don’t delay seeking treatment. Close to 30 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids.  

Here are four ways that hearing aids can help communication and bolster your relationship:

  1. Better Communication: We’d say this is probably the #1 reason to wear a hearing aid if you have hearing loss. Hearing aids can open up a world of communication again; gone are the “what’s” or “can you repeat that?”. Instead, you’ll be able to discuss emotions, ideals, and future plans with your partner. 
  2. Fewer Arguments: Most couples will admit that it’s often the small, petty things that can cause an argument. What volume to have the TV at may not seem like a big issue, but small disagreements like this can have long-lasting repercussions on a relationship. The restoration of hearing that comes with wearing hearing aids can make arguments over the TV volume a thing of the past.
  3. Spend More Time Together Socially: Many people with a hearing loss avoid social situations. The embarrassment of finding it hard to hear can often push a person to isolate themselves. Hearing aids can help to filter out background noises to enhance the overall listening experience. The increased confidence that comes as a result can bolster the time that you can spend together with your partner socially.
  4. Hearing Aids Can Restore Your Independence: Hearing loss can cause one partner to rely on the other to be their translator. This can cause problems in a relationship, but also result in a loss of independence. Hearing aids remove that burden and restore your independence and your relationship dynamic again. 

Need Help? Contact Us Today!

Interested in learning more? At Regional Hearing & Balance Center, we are committed to improving your quality of life through better hearing. To book an appointment, call Regional Hearing and Balance Center at 208-497-3596 or click here to book a complimentary hearing assessment.

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The purpose of this hearing assessment and/or demonstration is for hearing wellness and to determine if the consumer may benefit from using hearing aids, which may include selling and fitting hearing aids. Products demonstrated may differ from products sold. Assessment conclusion is not a medical diagnosis and further testing may be required to diagnose hearing loss. The use of any hearing aid may not fully restore normal hearing and does not prevent future hearing loss. Hearing instruments may not meet the needs of all hearing-impaired individuals.