This Valentine’s Day, Show Your Love in This Unexpected Way

Woman and man cuddling on a park bench after getting hearing aids to improve their relationship.

Want to show how much you care? Really listen when your loved ones talk to you. But you have to be able to hear in order to really listen.

Research shows one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 is experiencing hearing loss and millions would benefit from wearing a hearing aid. But only 30% of those individuals actually wear hearing aids, regrettably.

Diminishing hearing, depression, higher instances of dementia, and stressed relationships are some consequences of this inaction. Many individuals experiencing hearing loss simply suffer in silence.

But it’s almost springtime. Spring should be a time when we take pleasure in blossoming flowers, emerging leaves, beginning new things, and growing closer to loved ones. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by speaking openly about hearing loss?

Having “The Talk” is Necessary

Studies have observed that an person with untreated hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to experience dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A cascade effect that ultimately affects the entire brain can be initiated when there’s reduced activity in the region of your brain used for hearing. This is called “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” principle at work.

Depression cases among people with hearing loss are nearly double that of an individual with healthy hearing. People who have worsening hearing loss, according to research, frequently experience agitation and anxiety. The person may start to isolate themselves from family and friends. They’re likely to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of depression.

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

Solving The Puzzle

Your loved one may not be ready to let you know that they are suffering from hearing loss. Fear or embarrassment could be an issue for them. Perhaps they’re going through denial. In order to identify when will be the best time to have this conversation, some detective work may be needed.

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

  • School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming more difficult
  • Misunderstanding situations more frequently
  • Not hearing important sounds, like the doorbell, washer buzzer, or someone calling their name
  • Agitation or anxiousness in social settings that you haven’t previously observed
  • Steering clear of settings with lots of activity and people
  • Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other noises that you can’t hear
  • Watching TV with the volume exceedingly high
  • Avoiding conversations

Watch for for these common symptoms and plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one.

The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How

It might be hard to have this talk. You may get the brush off or even a more defensive response from a spouse in denial. That’s why approaching hearing loss in the proper way is so important. You may need to adjust your language based on your individual relationship, but the steps will be the same for the most part.

Step 1: Tell them you love them unconditionally and appreciate your relationship.

Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re worried. You’ve done the research. You’re aware of the increased dementia risk and depression that accompany untreated hearing loss. That’s not what you want for your loved one.

Step 3: You’re also concerned about your own health and safety. An excessively loud TV could damage your hearing. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some research. Your loved one might not hear you calling for help if you’ve fallen down or someone’s broken into the house.

People engage with others by using emotion. Simply listing facts won’t be as effective as painting an emotional picture of the possible repercussions.

Step 4: Come to an agreement that it’s time for a hearing test. After deciding, make the appointment as soon as possible. Don’t wait.

Step 5: Be prepared for objections. At any time in the process, they could have these objections. You know this person. What will they object to? Money? Time? Do they not see a problem? Do they think they can utilize home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t help hearing loss and can actually do more harm.

Be prepared with your responses. Perhaps you practice them ahead of time. You should speak to your loved one’s doubts but you don’t need to use this exact plan word-for-word.

Grow Your Relationship

Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your loved one isn’t willing to consider it. But you’ll get your loved one the help they require to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this talk. Growing closer – isn’t that what love is all about?




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.