How to Talk to Your Spouse About Hearing Loss
Let’s say you are the healthiest person you can attain to be. You eat healthy, exercise, and avoid stress. No matter how hard you strive to achieve greatness, as you get older, to some degree, you will develop hearing loss. Age is the strongest predictor in hearing loss for individuals aged 20-29 according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. Those between the ages of 60-69 have the greatest amount of loss. This condition will sneak up on you and will one day prevent you from enjoying the sounds you’ve experienced your whole life.
Many audiologists have stated that their patients were referred to them or brought in by loved ones. How do you convince your spouse or family member to pursue care for their loss of hearing? Here are some helpful methods to approach the subject in a healthy and productive way.
Time and Place
It can certainly be frustrating living with someone who is suffering from hearing loss. Even more so when they are unaware of the problem. They will constantly ask you to repeat yourself, listen to television or music at higher volumes, and have trouble hearing a doorbell, kitchen timer, and other household noises. If this is the case, it might be time for a one on one discussion. Choose a quiet time when you are both in a good mood and can speak without being interrupted. Be caring, but at the same time expressing firmness without being condescending or judgmental.
Care and Concern
It’s important to express your concern for their health. Untreated hearing loss can cause the speech and language areas of the brain to atrophy, increasing your partners risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression, frustration and anxiety.
You may also want to mention you are concerned for your own health. The louder noises coming from the television or stereo can cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) over time. The stress of worry you feel for your partners health and safety can also be detrimental to your wellbeing.
A good idea can be to find a clinic in your area, schedule a hearing test for yourself and invite your partner to join you. Hearing tests are important to have done regardless of your situation and seeing you get a hearing test might motivate your loved one to complete one for themselves. The process is simple, fast, and easy.
No one knows your partner more than you do, and you will know how they will react when approaching them on the subject. Anticipate the hesitation and the objection to receiving a hearing test. Make sure to express that you are doing this for them, and want nothing more than to help them live their lives to the fullest. Research solutions and the latest advancements in hearing healthcare so that you’ll be prepared if your loved one opposes visiting a hearing healthcare professional.
Even if you and your partner have exceptional hearing, it’s still a good idea to have an annual hearing evaluation performed. This way you can have definitive proof if any loss is occurring over time. To find a skilled hearing health profession you can trust, visit our find a clinic page.
An excellent reminder to consider no matter who has the hearing loss in your family, is to keep a sense of humor. Being able to laugh with your partner will not only add longevity to the relationship but will also help in diffusing tension during serious discussions. We hope you and your spouse have many years of love, happiness, shared experiences, and excellent communication together through healthy hearing.