American Hearing & Audiology - Conway, AR

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? Really listen when your loved ones talk to you. But you have to be able to hear in order to really listen.

According to research, millions of individuals would benefit from using hearing aids because one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some amount of hearing loss. Sadly, only about 30% of these individuals actually use their hearing aids.

Diminishing hearing, depression, higher dementia rates, and strained relationships are some consequences of this inaction. Suffering in silence is how many people deal with their hearing loss.

But spring is right around the corner. It’s a time for new foliage, flowers, fresh starts, and growing together. Talking frankly about hearing loss can be a good way to renew relationships.

It’s Important to Have “The Talk”

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

Individuals with hearing loss have nearly twice as many instances of depression than people who have normal hearing. Research shows that as a person’s hearing loss worsens, they frequently become stressed and agitated. Separation from family and friends is frequently the consequence. They’re prone to stop including themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of depression.

This, in turn, can lead to relationship strain among spouses, but also between parent and child, close friends, and other people in this individual’s life.

Solving The Mystery

Your loved one may not be ready to let you know that they are developing hearing loss. Fear or shame could be a problem for them. Maybe they’re dealing with denial. In order to determine when will be the right time to have this discussion, some detective work might be necessary.

Since you can’t hear what your loved one hears, you’ll have to use external cues, including:

  • Irritation or anxiety in social situations that you haven’t previously noticed
  • Staying away from conversations
  • School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming harder
  • Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else hears
  • Avoiding busy places
  • Misunderstanding situations more often
  • Watching TV with the volume extremely high
  • Not hearing vital sounds, like the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or someone calling their name

Look for these common signs and plan to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one.

The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How

It may be hard to have this discussion. A companion in denial might brush it off or become defensive. That’s why approaching hearing loss in an appropriate way is so significant. You might need to modify your language based on your distinct relationship, but the steps will be more or less the same.

Step 1: Let them know that you love them unconditionally and appreciate your relationship.

Step 2: You are concerned about their health. You’ve read the studies. You know that neglected hearing loss can cause a higher chance of depression and dementia. That’s not what you want for your loved one.

Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a concern. An overly loud television could harm your hearing. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some studies. If somebody has broken into your house, or you yell for help, your loved one may not hear you.

Emotion is an essential part of robust communication. If you can paint an emotional picture of what might happen, it’s more effective than just listing facts.

Step 4: Agree together to make an appointment to have a hearing test. 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 issues will they find? Money? Time? Do they not acknowledge a problem? Do they think they can utilize homemade remedies? You understand “natural hearing loss cures” don’t really work and could cause more harm than good.

Prepare your counter responses. Perhaps you practice them beforehand. You should speak to your loved one’s doubts but you don’t need to use this exact plan word-for-word.

Grow Your Relationship

If your significant other is reluctant to talk, it can be a tough situation. But you’ll get your loved one the help they require 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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