Nearly 1 in 6 people have some degree of hearing loss. Though over 48 million people live with impared hearing, it is often underdiagnosed. Only one third of people who could benefit from treatment actually receive it. Untreated hearing loss can impact daily life and health in significant ways. This includes straining communication which is integral to maintaining relationships. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options that not only transform hearing health but also improve relationships.
How are relationships impacted by hearing loss?
Communication is foundational for sustaining healthy relationships. Communication is necessary for spending quality time, nurturing connection, sharing needs and much more.
Hearing loss reduces a person’s capacity to hear and process speech as well as sound which produces a wide range of symptoms including: tinnitus (a ringing or buzzing sound in one or both ears), sounds are slurred or muffled, difficulty hearing in environments with background noise etc. These symptoms can take a toll on communication and various aspects of life which affect relationships. A few major ways that relationships are impacted includes:
- strains communication: hearing loss symptoms make it difficult to engage in conversations. People with hearing often ask others to repeat themselves, speak louder and/or slower, lip read to help identify individual words, need to move to a quieter space to be able to hear better etc. This can cause people to miss words or parts of a conversation which contributes to miscommunication or an unpleasant interaction.
- leads to social withdrawal: because conversations require more energy and are difficult to follow, people often avoid them altogether. This includes skipping out on social events, not participating in hobbies or activities, and spending less time with loved ones. Social withdrawal is a common outcome of untreated hearing loss.
- impacts health + wellness: strained communication and social withdrawal increases health risks. Extensive research shows that untreated hearing loss increases the risk of depressive symptoms, cognitive decline, adn accidental injuries. This affects overall health and wellbeing on a daily basis.
These effects of untreated hearing loss cause people to spend less time with others. People often report feeling unheard or ignored by their loved one with hearing loss. This can produce distance, tension, and frustration in relationships which stresses the importance of treatment.
How does treatment improve relationships?
There are effective solutions for hearing loss. The most common way hearing loss is treated is with hearing aids. These are electrical devices that are prescribed by a hearing healthcare provider. They are designed to absorb, amplify, and process sound which provides the ears and brain with significant support. This support makes it easier to hear and also alleviates hearing loss symptoms. With increased capacity to hear and process sound, people are better able to participate in conversations. Hearing aids prevent dealing with the challenges of symptoms, allowing people to be more present and fully engaged. This enables people to spend quality time with loved ones, navigate social settings, and engage with others with greater ease and confidence.
Hearing aids also enable people to engage in daily tasks and activities more smoothly. This includes watching TV and listening to music which are common activities people do with others. Being able to comfortably participate in activities and have easeful conversations with family and friends strengthens these relationships. It facilitates connection and intimacy which helps sustain relationships.
Prioritize Your Hearing Health Today
The first step you can take to address hearing loss symptoms is scheduling an appointment for a hearing test. Hearing tests involve a painless and noninvasive process that measures hearing abilities in both ears. This identifies any hearing loss and the degree of impairment you are experiencing. Once your hearing needs are established, your hearing healthcare provider is able to recommend treatment options to effectively meet those needs.
Your hearing healthcare specialist will help you navigate your hearing aid options. Hearing aids are innovative and savvy pieces of wearable technology. There is a wide range of options, styles, and features which are designed to seamlessly integrate into your daily life. Not only does treatment transform hearing health, but it offers life-changing benefits including improving relationships. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing. We look forward to helping you prioritize your hearing health.