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? Truly listen when your loved ones talk to you. That involves, of course, the ability to hear.

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

Diminishing hearing, depression, higher instances of dementia, and stressed relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Many people experiencing hearing loss just suffer in silence.

But it’s nearly springtime. Spring should be a time when we take pleasure in blossoming flowers, emerging leaves, starting new things, and getting closer to loved ones. Talking openly about hearing loss can be a superb way to renew relationships.

It’s Necessary to Have “The Talk”

Studies have observed that an person with neglected hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A cascade effect that eventually affects the entire brain can be initiated when there’s diminished activity in the part of your brain responsible for hearing. Doctors call this brain atrophy. It’s the “use it or lose it” principle in action.

Depression rates among those with hearing loss are almost double that of somebody with healthy hearing. People with worsening hearing loss, according to research, often experience anxiety and agitation. Isolation from friends and family is frequently the consequence. They’re likely to fall deeper into depression as they stop engaging in activities once loved.

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

Solving The Puzzle

Your loved one may not think they can talk to you about their hearing problems. They might be nervous or embarrassed. They might be in denial. You might need to do some detective work to determine when it’s time to have the conversation.

Since you are unable to hear what your loved one hears, you’ll have to use outward cues, including:

  • Turning the volume way up on the TV
  • Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else hears
  • Recurring misunderstandings
  • Avoiding busy places
  • School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming more difficult
  • Staying away from conversations
  • Irritation or anxiousness in social settings that you haven’t previously observed
  • Important sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed

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

The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How

Having this discussion might not be easy. A spouse in denial may brush it off or become defensive. That’s why it’s crucial to approach hearing loss appropriately. The steps will be the basically same even though you might need to modify your language based on your distinct relationship.

Step 1: Make them understand that you appreciate your relationship and have unconditional love for them.

Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re worried. You’ve done the research. You know that neglected hearing loss can cause an elevated chance of depression and dementia. You don’t want your loved one to deal with that.

Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a concern. An overly loud television could harm your hearing. In addition, studies show that elevated noise can create anxiety, which might effect your relationship. Your loved one may not hear you calling for help if you’ve fallen down or somebody’s broken into the house.

People engage with others through emotion. If you can paint an emotional picture of what might happen, it’s more effective than simply listing facts.

Step 4: Agree together to schedule an appointment to get a hearing test. Do it immediately after making the decision. Don’t procrastinate.

Step 5: Be prepared 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 issues will they find? Money? Time? Are they convinced it’s not a big deal? Are they thinking about trying out home remedies? You know “natural hearing loss cures” don’t really work and could cause more harm than good.

Prepare your counter responses. Maybe you rehearse them beforehand. You should address your loved one’s concerns 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 significant other isn’t willing to consider it. But you’ll get your loved one the assistance they require to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this talk. Growing closer – 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

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