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Love, Marriage and Hearing Loss: Listen to me Dear!

Ask any happy couple what are the secrets to a successful marriage, and chances are that “communication” will be on the list.

That’s because communication allows both partners to convey their thoughts and emotions to each other – a very important aspect of a healthy marriage. Take away this ability to talk, hear, and respond and the relationship is bound to crumble.

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t always. If one (or both) partners have untreated hearing loss (choosing not to wear hearing aids), the notion of communicating loud and clear bites the dust. And, this happens more often than you think.

Alarming statistics re: hearing loss and marriage

A recently released British study demonstrates that relationships are failing because of unmanaged hearing loss. The survey, of 1,500 hearing-impaired people over 55 revealed that:

  • Almost one in two (44% of people) said that relationships with their partner, friends or family had suffered because they can't hear properly.
  • A third (34%) have lost touch with friends, and in some cases seen marriages fall apart, as a direct result of the breakdown in communication caused by hearing loss.
  • Two thirds (69%) said their hearing loss seriously hinders their ability to take part in everyday conversations with friends and family, causing 52% of those surveyed to feel left out and ignored in social situations.
  • Women (72%) were found to be more affected by social exclusion because of hearing loss than men
  • Almost half (49%) said that losing their hearing is the worst thing about growing old.

Marriages in peril

hearing loss and marriage issues

If you believe that statistics from across the pond don’t apply to Americans, think again.

A U.S. survey of baby boomers carried out in 2007 by Energizer Battery Inc., indicates that hearing loss harms relationships on this side of the Atlantic as well. In fact, nearly half (48 %) of those surveyed said their marriages have suffered because of their spouses' hearing loss.

More than half (57%) feel their spouse is reluctant to get a hearing check, and 46% believe that denial is the main reason.

Even more respondents (65%) indicated they feel annoyed when their significant other cannot hear them.

Interestingly enough, although 45% indicated that their spouse doesn't appear to hear chore requests, 78% are sure the hard-of-hearing partner can hear them fix a snack just fine!

Talk about selective hearing loss!

Seriously though, there is a fairly simple way to make sure your communication with the person closest and dearest to you doesn’t suffer.

Hear and be heard

hearing loss and marriage
Give your marriage a treat by treating your hearing loss

The best way to treat hearing loss is, of course, with hearing aids. With the wide availability of many technologically advanced digital hearing aids currently on the market – and new ones being developed all the time - there is no excuse not to get tested and fitted.

Let us guess: you think a hearing aid is unsightly? Not so – new open-fit hearing aids are sleek, tiny and allow natural sounding amplification.

Maybe you believe hearing aids will make you look old and / or disabled? Nothing can be further from the truth, since able-bodied people of all ages (including children) can have hearing loss.

Or perhaps you feel that the cost of hearing aids – ranging from $1,000 to $4,000 per hearing aid – is prohibitive? That is a valid concern, but if you calculate the initial price of a hearing aid over the three to five years an average device lasts, you come up with a totally affordable $3 a day.(But can you really put a price on improved quality of life?)

And then there is denial. The “I can hear just fine” argument can only go so far when it is obvious that you have to strain to hear a conversation. Denial is a powerful deterrent, and you should never give in to it, especially when your health and well-being are concerned.

Added bonus

So now you know that there is no reason why you should not use hearing aids, and plenty of reasons why you should.

Being able to communicate with your spouse is certainly worth getting tested, isn’t it?

But a happy marriage is not the only reason why you should get treated (though it is certainly a very important one.)

Numerous studies have demonstrated that hearing aids improve the overall quality of life by allowing the user to interact socially and emotionally with those around him.

Just remember, a happy marriage, good quality of life, and hearing aids go hand in hand!

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