We love our significant others, but living with them can be difficult when they have a hearing loss that remains undiagnosed and untreated.
People do some or all of the following things to compensate for their loved one’s hearing loss:
- Communicate for them
- Speak louder
- Explain or repeat what they miss
- Try to get them to interact socially
- Beg them to get treatment
1. Communicate for Them
It can be easy to slip into the role of communicator so that our loved one does not have to become tired and frustrated by trying to focus on conversations, but this can make them become used to not engaging because they have someone who will do it for them.
For some couples, doing this can be a welcome task. They are helping and feel wanted and needed, but they are actually becoming their loved one’s “hearing aid” and reducing their independence.
Those with a hearing loss can begin to feel helpless, hopeless, ashamed, and defensive when we do this, with many giving up and letting family members take over the communication aspect of their lives.
2. Speak Louder
Your loved one might say you are mumbling or speaking too softly. Speaking loudly and enunciating every word might help to some degree, but some types of hearing loss are related more to not being able to hear certain tones or pitches rather than volume.
In addition, having the TV on too loud can damage your own ears, and shouting to each other at social events can become embarrassing.
3. Explain or Repeat What They Miss
A loved one’s untreated hearing loss pushes us into a role we didn’t sign up for – that of translator, and we can be called on to “translate” or repeat things almost every time our loved one needs to communicate.
This can cause us to feel frustrated, resentful, and angry that they won’t get the help they need and relieve us.
But we can be part of the problem when we step in to do what the person with a hearing loss could have done with the right hearing treatment.
4. Trying to Encourage Social Interaction
The more severe hearing loss becomes, the more likely they will withdraw from social events in order to avoid embarrassment by having to ask people to repeat themselves or by not understanding what’s been said and responding inappropriately.
This can lead to depression and resentment, especially when family and friends start to avoid conversing with them because even shouting doesn’t seem to be enough, and the constant repetition can be tiring.
This social withdrawal can then affect their physical health negatively. All of this could be avoided with a tailored hearing solution by a professional audiologist.
5. Persuading Them to Get Treatment
There is almost always a tipping point when it comes to persuading a loved one with a hearing loss to get treatment for it, but I wish people wouldn’t wait that long when there is so much great technology available that can improve communication instantly.
There are so many positives to getting help – they can enjoy TV, music, dinner conversation, talking on the phone, time with the grandchildren, and a marriage filled with meaningful conversation again.
The person with a hearing loss gets their independent lifestyle back, and the resentment and helplessness disappear.
By focusing on the positive aspects of treatment rather than listening to the negative thoughts about it, such as admitting aging and the cost and look of hearing aids, it can be easier to persuade them to come see me for a free, non-invasive hearing test.
I get the results immediately and I can show them what’s possible.
The cost of hearing aids doesn’t even need to be a determining factor when I have access to all of the major hearing aid brands at different cost tiers, and I offer payment plans.
As a part of Monica’s Hearing Club, I have an on-team insurance specialist who can help minimize the out-of-pocket expense with any insurance provider.
I even offer demos to try out at home to make sure your loved one gets the best possible hearing aid for his or her lifestyle.
Contact me with any questions or to arrange an in-home or in-office hearing assessment.
I look forward to helping you both maximize your enjoyment of life again.