There’s nothing more wonderful than falling in love with someone and embarking on life’s journey with them. As strong as your love is, no couple can escape one immutable fact of life… People change. This doesn’t just mean that their personal and career goals change or that their likes and dislikes change. Their bodies change, too. If you met your beloved in high school, college, or early in your career, you may not be prepared for the health issues that come later in life as you grow older together.
Thus, when a partner develops hearing loss, it may seem pretty trivial at first. So, you may have to repeat yourself now and then. It’s no big deal, right? Well maybe not right now, but over time your partner’s hearing loss may drive a wedge between you if you don’t educate yourself. A 2009 British study revealed that 44% of respondents with hearing loss encountered problems in their relationships as a result. If your partner is beginning to lose their hearing there are some things that you should know as soon as possible:
It’s not their fault:
There are numerous causes of hearing loss. While some can be caused or exacerbated by lifestyle or career choices such as working with loud machinery or attending a lot of rock concerts, there are other causes such as Meniere’s disease which are genetic and hereditary. While there are measures we can all take to safeguard our auditory health, it’s not your partner’s fault if they suffer hearing loss. Even some prescription medications can result in hearing loss, so click here to learn more.
Don’t blame yourself:
At the same time, you mustn’t blame yourself for any (perfectly natural) feelings of frustration that you may be feeling. Becoming irritated at having to repeat yourself, being half heard, or misheard by your partner is completely normal. Don’t beat yourself up too much about it and just try and adapt your thinking to help you grow beyond it.
Hearing aids are not a perfect solution:
Surprisingly, only 1 in 4 hearing loss sufferers regularly uses a hearing aid. There are many reasons behind this, but chief amongst them is the fact that hearing aids can take a lot of getting used to. When someone with hearing loss starts wearing a hearing aid, it can take a long while to adjust. After years of being unable to hear, it can take a while for the inner ear to recognize the vibrations as sound and even when recognition occurs the sound can seem distorted and unnatural. Some users even feel that hearing aids create more problems than they solve. Rather than getting even more frustrated if your partner seems reluctant to use their hearing aid, resolve to support them by gently encouraging them to use it regularly to help them adjust. They’re by no means perfect but they can certainly help.
Hearing loss can be frustrating for both the person suffering and their partner. Be sure to encourage each other to help minimize the stress that it can cause.
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