Latest posts by Dr. Steinberg (see all)
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Many hearing care professionals have expressed that part of their job involves mediating conflicts between couples for which hearing loss is present. Denial is a very common response when accusations of hearing loss are made, and many people will mistake their partner’s physical condition as neglect. In fact, it is often the hearing partner who reports feeling lonely and ignored in a relationship. While hearing loss can make you feel alone in the world, many people understand exactly what you’re going through. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, approximately 48 million Americans (20 percent) report some degree of hearing loss. Although hearing loss affects you as an individual it also affects the people around you, including your most cherished relationships. Hearing loss can affect the quality of your relationships with friends, your relationships at work and at home.
The Impact of Hearing Loss on Relationships
Hearing loss may affect your relationships in so many ways. You may experience a decrease in quality of communication and find your self in more frequent conflicts with your partner out of frustration and miscommunication. This can cause couples to struggle to enjoy their favorite pastimes that they used to enjoy and can lead to resentment and ultimately sabotage the strongest of partnerships. Communication is the cornerstone of a solid relationship so if you and your partner cannot openly discuss how hearing loss affects your relationship, your silence may breed frustration and anger. Without a solid bridge of communication, both you and your partner may feel lonely, isolated, unsupported, and unheard. Instead of bottling up your worries and frustrations, share them with one another. Reflect on your experience with hearing loss as a couple, listening to one another and acknowledging the difficulties.
Hearing Loss Between Friends
When people suffer from hearing loss often they cannot participate in day-to-day conversation, leaving them to feel left out of fun and meaningful socialization. Often people will loose touch with a friends because of lack of communication due to hearing loss. Those with hearing loss can become more secluded and depressed due to their strained interactions with friends, which can be easily solved with hearing aids. Because conversation is usually a two way street, when both friends can properly engage in the conversation, the relationship is more fulfilling.
Hearing Loss in the Workplace
Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a person with hearing loss cannot be discriminated against in the workplace. However, that does not mean that hearing loss does not still present career hurdles. Impacting communication, confidence and on-the-job choices, untreated hearing loss can hold people back from their career potential. Communicating with others is an essential daily task in nearly every type of job. When hearing loss hinders professional interactions, the resulting communication challenges can affect an individual’s physical well-being, social skills and performance at work. Not only has hearing loss has been associated with avoidance of social activities, impaired memory and less alertness to the environment it can affect your confidence at work. Ultimately this can lead to lower earnings at work. Studies show that individuals with hearing loss who don’t utilize a hearing loss solution are generally paid less. Studies also find that the use of hearing solutions have a positive impact on household income. By seeking help to improve their hearing, individuals with hearing loss have the chance to increase their earning power, improve their interpersonal relationships and live their lives to the fullest.
Seek Professional Help with Elite Hearing
Luckily, there is hope for those of us dealing with the impact of hearing loss. Hearing aids have been proven time and time again to drastically improve everyone’s quality of life when hearing loss is present in a relationship. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), only 25 percent of people who need hearing aids actually use them. Don’t let the stigma of hearing loss hold you back from maintaining the important relationships that enrich your life. Using hearing aids almost always makes your most important relationships blossom again. You will find that your communication, social engagement, and relationship satisfaction will all improve significantly.
If you suspect that you have a hearing loss and your relationships are suffering as a result, contact us at Elite Hearing to set up a hearing test. We can make sure you have the best hearing aids for your individualized needs to keep your relationships thrilling and constantly flourishing.