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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. But you have to be able to hear in order to really listen.

Studies reveal millions of people 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. But only 30% of those individuals actually wear hearing aids, regrettably.

This inaction leads to trouble hearing, as well as higher dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. Suffering in silence is how many individuals endure their hearing loss.

But spring is right around the corner. It’s a time for new foliage, flowers, new beginnings, and growing closer. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by talking openly about hearing loss?

It’s Necessary to Have “The Talk”

Studies have revealed that an individual with untreated hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to experience dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A cascade effect that ultimately impacts the overall brain can be triggered when there’s reduced activity in the part of your brain responsible for hearing. This is referred to as “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” principle at work.

People with hearing loss have almost two times as many instances of depression than individuals who have healthy hearing. People who have worsening hearing loss, according to research, frequently experience anxiety and agitation. Isolation from family and friends is frequently the result. They’re likely to fall deeper into melancholy as they stop participating in activities once loved.

Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this separation.

Solving The Mystery

Your loved one may not feel that they can talk to you about their hearing issues. They may be scared or ashamed. Maybe they’re dealing with denial. In order to identify when will be the best time to have this conversation, some detective work might be needed.

Because it’s impossible for you to directly know how impaired your spouse’s hearing loss is, you might need to depend on some of the following clues:

  • Agitation or anxiety in social situations that you haven’t previously seen
  • Steering clear of places with lots of activity and people
  • Cranking the volume way up on the TV
  • Misunderstanding situations more often
  • essential sounds, like someone calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are frequently missed
  • Ringing, buzzing, and other sounds that no one else can hear
  • Sudden trouble with work, hobbies, or school
  • Staying away from conversations

Plan to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one if you notice any of these common symptoms.

The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How

Having this discussion may not be easy. A spouse in denial might brush it off or become defensive. That’s why approaching hearing loss in an appropriate way is so important. You may need to modify your language based on your distinct relationship, but the steps will be more or less the same.

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

Step 2: You’re concerned about their health. You’ve done the research. You’re aware of the increased dementia risk and depression that come with neglected hearing loss. That’s not what you want for your loved one.

Step 3: You’re also worried about your own health and safety. Your hearing can be harmed by overly loud volumes on the TV and other devices. Additionally, research has shown that elevated noise can create anxiety, which might effect your relationship. If someone has broken into your home, or you yell for help, your loved one might not hear you.

Emotion is a key part of strong 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 get a hearing exam. Do it right away after deciding. Don’t procrastinate.

Step 5: Be ready for your loved ones to have some objections. At any time in the process, they might have these objections. You know this individual. What will they object to? Costs? Time? Do they not see a problem? 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. You might even rehearse them in the mirror. They don’t have to be those listed above word-for-word, but they should address your loved one’s doubts.

Grow Your Relationship

If your significant other is not willing to talk, it can be a tricky situation. But you’ll get your loved one the assistance they need to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this conversation. 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

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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