Tips for talking to your partner about hearing loss
Living with someone who can’t hear can be frustrating, especially when they are unaware of the problem. If they constantly ask you to repeat yourself, turn up the volume on the television to an uncomfortable level, or have trouble hearing the telephone, microwave or doorbell chime, it might be time to have a heart-to-heart chat. Pick a quiet time when the two of you are in a good mood and you can talk uninterrupted. Use a firm, caring tone that is not judgemental or condescending.
Tell them it's affecting your relationship. While your communication partner may be concerned about the stigma of wearing hearing aids, someone saying "what?" all the time can be a relationship buzzkill. Hearing loss affects communication, which is the core of all relationships.
Tell them you’re concerned for their health. When hearing loss is left untreated, the speech and language areas of the brain can atrophy, leading to auditory deprivation and putting a person at increased risk of cognitive, or memory decline.
Tell them you’re concerned for your own health. The additional stress of worrying about your other half's health and safety can take a physical and emotional toll on your own health. Plus, it's no fun to listen to the TV or stereo when it's cranked up too high, or having to shout or constantly repeat yourself.
Make an appointment to have your own hearing tested and ask them to go with you. First of all, it’s something you should do anyway. Secondly, it’s always good to have another set of ears to hear what the hearing care provider has to say, no matter who the patient is. Who knows? The hearing evaluation process is so simple and easy, they might just agree to have their own test.
Discuss hearing loss's broad impact. They may not be aware of all the ways that their hearing loss is lowering their quality of life. Discuss the signs of hearing loss with them, including signs like fatigue and feeling frustrated a lot.
At Brant Audiology and Tinnitus our welcoming office staff and knowledgable Doctors of Audiology make the process of evaluating and treating hearing loss simple. We are experts at improving relationships through better hearing and communication!