How Hearing Aids Improve Your Relationships

How Hearing Aids Improve Your Relationships

As social creatures, we understand that healthy communication is at the foundation of our relationships. Through communication, we share our inner worlds with each other. We share stories, anecdotes, jokes, and have important discussions through communication. Most of us understand that maintaining relationships takes work, and communication is a fundamental part of this work.

When our channels of communication deteriorate, in part due to hearing loss, this could take a toll on your relationships. Learn more about how hearing loss affects speech recognition and communication, and how hearing aids can make a big difference.

Difficulty with Communication

Hearing loss interferes with our ability to recognize speech. A common complaint from people with hearing loss is I can hear, but I cannot understand. Hearing loss could lead to misunderstanding of certain words or phrases, which changes the context of what is being said. Additionally, certain configurations of hearing loss may lead to confusion between similar speech sounds such “p” or “b,” or “th” or “s.” Conversations may be difficult and frustrating.

Because communication is crucial to every healthy relationship, difficulties with speech and communication could harm interpersonal relationships. Additionally, difficulty with speech recognition could interfere with communication with your work colleagues, which may greatly affect work performance and productivity.

Social Avoidance or Withdrawal

One of more advanced signs of hearing loss is a complete avoidance of social settings and interactions. Hearing loss makes speech recognition difficult in noisy situations. Commonly, people who experience hearing loss will avoid social events and withdraw from even the closest relationships, so as to avoid communication. For some, the experience of hearing loss may interfere with certain frequencies of sound. Some may find it difficult to hear the voices of women and children. This may make it difficult to hear your spouse or grandchildren and thus create a sense of disconnect and isolation.

When there is a struggle to hear and connect to our friends and loved ones, we may begin to feel very alone. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk of anxiety, stress, and depression.

How to Talk to Your Loved One about Hearing Loss

If you have noticed that your loved one is experiencing hearing loss, you may want to encourage them to take steps to seek treatment. Seeking treatment for hearing loss is important, and the sooner, the better. People wait an average seven years from the time they first experience signs of hearing loss until the time they decide to seek treatment. With untreated hearing loss, the neural pathways that transmit sound signals to our brains are underused. Hearing specialists have likened this experience to an overgrown path in the woods that is underused. Seeking treatment as soon as possible would prevent a deterioration of these pathways.

Hearing loss is a sensitive topic. Though we may try our best to be sensitive with our loved ones, we may be met with defensiveness. To prepare, research the signs of hearing loss and think about how you want to approach your loved one. It is important to find a calm time and a quiet place to have this conversation with your loved one. It is likely that your loved one is already aware of the changes in their hearing abilities as well. Opening up channels of communication will allow you both to discuss your frustrations and fears, and also to set a course of action together. As you support your loved on through this transition, it will deepen your bond. Use this opportunity to encourage your loved one to take a hearing test.

How Hearing Aids Help

Here at Custom Hearing Solutions, we provide comprehensive hearing tests. If a hearing loss is detected, our hearing specialists will work with you to find the best solution to treat your hearing needs. Hearing aid are the most common treatment for hearing loss.

Hearing aids have been designed to provide better access to sounds and are equipped to process sound at incredibly fast speeds, balancing the noise of your environment and the sounds you prefer to hear. They are also designed to specifically recognize speech in a number of diverse environments. Some hearing aids are smartphone-compatible, which allows you to stream phone calls directly to your ears. These features provide you access to speech sounds you may have missed and also strengthen your ability to communicate.

If you, or a loved one, have been experiencing hearing loss, the prescription of hearing aids will drastically improve your interpersonal relationships. Contact us at Custom Hearing Solutions to schedule an appointment.