Grow Your Relationships Stronger by Investing In your Hearing Health

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February is the shortest month of the year and with this comes some of the coldest days. Don’t let it get you down. This is a great time to hold the people in your life close to you and invest in your relationships for the future. While candy hearts and cherry-filled chocolates may add sweetness to your life, there are some very concrete ways that you can improve your intimacy with that special someone in your life. Relationships take on work. One way to ensure that you’ll continue to stay close and feel supported for years to come is to make sure you have the tools to communicate clearly. This includes direct communication and making sure to take time for romance and play. However, for those with hearing loss, this may be more easily said than done.

Better Hearing, Less Miscommunication

Some of the most rewarding relationships are those that span years and even decades. Growing older with someone is truly an amazing experience. It means you are in it together with your chosen person through hard times and health issues. In a way, knowing that someone is there for you when the times are tough, makes moments of joy even more rewarding. One of the most common health issues facing people in the United States as we age is hearing loss. One in three people over 65 and older have hearing loss and this number jumps to one in two for those aged 75 and older. 

Undiagnosed and Undertreated

As the likely risk of hearing loss increases it would make sense to schedule annual hearing loss. However, millions are either unaware or in denial of their hearing loss. The longer it goes untreated the worse the side effects can become. What starts as simple issues missing words in conversations starts to put a wedge in your ability to communicate with the people in your life, from your life at work, with friends, with extended family, and with your significant other. On average it takes people seven to ten years from the time people suspect they have a hearing loss to seek treatment. By this point it’s gotten so bad, it’s hard to communicate, even with that special someone in your life that you see every day.

Better Hearing, Less Frustration

While hearing loss is almost always irreversible, the most common treatment is hearing aids. These digital devices fit snugly in or around your ear, amplifying the sounds you struggle with, based on a hearing exam. This allows you to hear the people in your life, including everyday interactions with the people you love. 

You may not have noticed how distant you and your partner have become as hearing loss sets in slowly over years. It’s not the big moments of charged conversation that are the issue, but more unconscious interactions. Simple interactions in the morning over coffee or tea, inside jokes, sharing old memories, or sweet nothings become more scarce as hearing issues make conversation difficult. Studies show that it’s these less conscious moments of communication that build feelings of closeness and intimacy.

Be Your Own Advocate

Communication has always been the cornerstone of healthy relationships. It’s not always easy as the years go by, but learning to be open and talk about what you feel is essential in feeling seen and heard in a relationship. Let your partner know the best ways to communicate with you. If you are struggling with hearing loss it may be hard to hear when background noise is on. Ask them to wait to wash the dishes till later or to turn down the radio so you can be sure to hear everything they are saying. It may also be helpful to have a view of their face when they are speaking so you can use lip reading and facial expression to help as an aid in hearing what they are saying. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need to make communication easier.

Matters of the Heart

The key to improved communication with hearing loss is investing in hearing aids. After a week or too you’ll start to notice a big difference and so will your partner and loved ones. Not only will you not have to ask for things to be repeated—you’ll be more open to trying new things and connecting on a deeper level. This Valentine’s day gives you and your loved one the gift of improved conversation. Schedule a hearing exam today!