What would you say is the most important thing in your life? Would it be your house or car or job? Most likely when most people think about it the most important thing in life are not material and are the priceless relationships that evolve as we age and keep us engaged and connected. Whether with friends, family, romantic partners, or coworkers, our lives are made meaningful by our relationships and how well we can communicate within them. When people are dealing with hearing loss that is not treated a strain can form in our most cherished relationships. Communication is the cornerstone of relationships, so when you cannot hear and respond accordingly our relationships begin to suffer.
The Effects of Hearing Loss on Relationships
Perhaps you are finding that you are having to ask people to repeat themselves more than before. Perhaps in a crowded room full of multiple voices or sound you are finding that it is harder to hear than it may have ever been in the past. If this is the case it is very likely that you are living with untreated hearing loss. The problem with letting this problem go unaddressed is that the constant strain that mis-hearing information or having to ask for clarification creates can cause you to socially withdraw over time. At home with your significant other and family miscommunication can start to cause underlying conflict and resentment. When you mishear what someone says constantly it is common for family members to stop feeling like they can rely on you. Perhaps your spouse or family member starts interpreting for you in social situations. This of course can develop a major dependence that diminishes your autonomy and self-confidence. Ultimately this can lead to major depression and anxiety that can affect every aspect of your daily interactions with friends, co-workers and loved ones as well start to wear on your overall physical health.
Recognizing Hearing Loss Symptoms
The first step in treating a hearing loss is realizing and admitting that you have a hearing loss at all. It is all too easy for us to ignore the symptoms of hearing loss, especially as they can come on at any time in life, not only in your senior years. If we know the signs of a hearing loss then we can take the initiative to schedule a hearing test and know for sure the best way to treat your condition. Some of the most common signs include;
Irritability: It is frustrating not to be able to hear what is being said and can create mental exhaustion lack of focus and irritability.
Tinnitus: a sign of hearing damage that manifests itself as a ringing or buzzing in the ears that has no external source in your environment.
Maintaining conversation: Often certain tones or voices will be harder to hear than others and in a crowded room this becomes even more difficult.
Need for exaggerated volume: Perhaps your friends and family are complaining that the TV or radio is turned up too loud but it sounds fine to you? Perhaps others have complained that you shout into the telephone?
Social anxiety: When you can’t hear what is being said around you it can make social situations extremely stressful and unappealing.
How Hearing Aids Can Help Your Relationship
After reading these symptoms, if you suspect that you or a loved one is living with untreated hearing loss, then it is important to act as soon as possible. The longer you wait to deal with hearing loss, the more the related conditions can progress including depression, anxiety and a strain between the people you most love. Not only can your relationships struggle but also so can your mental health and that is no small matter. Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss and can give you the chance to hear the people in your life clearly again. Though hearing aids often require an adjustment period it is important to stay strong and focused and challenge yourself to master your new devices. The benefits to your relationships are just too valuable to ignore. With hearing aids you can begin to re-strengthen relationships with friends co-workers and family and get back on track with the life and the people that you love.