Cropped shot of two unrecognizable people holding hands discussing hearing loss with compassion.

It’s something a lot of people suffer with, but most don’t want to talk about – hearing loss and its effect on personal relationships. Hearing loss can cause communication hurdles that lead to misunderstandings and frustration for both partners.
This is the perfect time for you to show your love and appreciation for your loved one with Valentine’s Day just around the corner. A wonderful way to do this is to have a discussion about your hearing loss.

Having “the talk”

A person with untreated hearing loss has a 2.4 times more likely chance of developing cognitive conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease according to some studies. When the part of your brain responsible for hearing becomes less engaged, it can begin a cascade effect that can affect your entire brain. This is referred to as brain atrophy by doctors. You remember how the old saying goes, “use it or lose it”.

Depression rates are nearly half in people who have normal hearing compared to those who have hearing loss. Research shows that as a person’s hearing loss worsens, they frequently become anxious and agitated. The person may start to separate themselves from family and friends. They are also likely to avoid involving themselves in the activities they used to enjoy as they sink deeper into a state of depression.

Relationships between family, friends, and others then become tense. It’s important to be patient and work together to determine solutions to communication problems.

Mystery solved

Somebody who is developing hearing loss might not be ready to talk about it. They may feel embarrassment and fear. Denial may have set in. Deciding when to have the conversation could take a little detective work.

Here are a few outward cues you will have to rely on because you can’t hear what others are hearing:

  • Failing to hear alerts, doorbells, and other important sounds
  • Avoiding conversations
  • Starting to notice anxiety and agitation in social situations
  • Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
  • Turning the volume way up on your TV
  • Frequent misunderstandings
  • Avoiding busy places
  • Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other sounds that you don’t hear

Plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one if you detect any of these symptoms.

What is the best way to discuss hearing loss?

This discussion may not be an easy one to have. A spouse in denial may brush it off or become defensive. That’s why it’s crucial to approach hearing loss in a sensitive and appropriate way. The steps will be essentially the same but maybe with some minor alterations based on your particular relationship situation.

  • Step 1: Inform them how much you love them unconditionally and how much you value your relationship.
  • Step 2: The state of their health is important to you. You’ve read through the research. You know that neglected hearing loss can result in an increased chance of dementia and depression. You don’t want that for your loved one.
  • Step 3: You’re also concerned about your own safety and health. An excessively loud TV could harm your hearing. In addition, research shows that elevated noise can cause anxiety, which might affect your relationship. Your loved one may not hear you yelling for help if you have a fall or somebody’s broken into the house. Emotion is a strong way to connect with others. If you can paint an emotional picture of the what-ifs, it’s more impactful than merely listing facts.
  • Step 4: Agree together to schedule an appointment to get a hearing assessment. After you make the decision schedule an appointment right away. Don’t wait.
  • Step 5: There might be some objections so be ready. These could arise at any time in the process. You know this person. What kind of doubts will they have? Money? Time? Doesn’t notice a problem? Do they believe they can use do-it-yourself methods? (“Natural hearing loss remedies” aren’t effective and can even be harmful.)

Have your responses prepared ahead of time. You might even rehearse them in the mirror. These responses need to address your loved one’s Worries but they don’t have to match those listed above word-for-word

Relationship growth

If your partner is unwilling to talk about their hearing loss, it can be difficult. Openly discussing the effect of hearing loss on your relationship can help to establish a plan to address any communication issues and ensure that both partners are heard and understood. By doing this, your relationship will get stronger and your loved one will take measures to live a longer, healthier life. Growing together – isn’t that what love is all about?

Call Today to Set Up an Appointment


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.

Call or text us for a no-obligation evaluation.

Schedule Now

Call or text us.

Schedule Now