Picture of older couple painting

When one person has a hearing problem does that qualify as a relationship killer? Perhaps that hearing loss makes it easier to ignore a spouse or partner. Who’s to say that’s not a good thing? It’s likely that yes is the answer to both of these questions at some level, but it’s also safe to say talking to each other is the key to a good relationship and that’s not easy to do when only one person hears well.

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That might be what a person with poor hearing understands when their spouse asks them to take out the trash. Without good communication, even the best relationships suffer, so there is little doubt that hearing loss matters. On the other hand, getting help for that problem might just stop the fighting for good.

Aging Happily Together

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders estimates that about 25 percent of people between the ages of 65 to 74 have some form of hearing loss. If one or more of the individuals involved in the relationship have trouble hearing, their ability to communicate is cut in half and that means tension during those golden years.

The Stress of Hearing Loss

For someone experiencing that gradual loss of hearing, their tension begins to escalate. For one thing, they never know how their loved one will deal with their inability to comprehend a question or follow a story. Tension exists when they try to deny a problem, too. It’s difficult to accept that you have hearing loss, especially when it’s aging-related. As that frustration builds, it’s bound to trigger more fights.

The Miscommunications

With hearing loss, there is an awful lot of guessing going on, too. Did she say 9 or 10? What channel did he want to watch? What kind of drink did she ask for? The more you guess, the more you are wrong. That kind of miscommunication mixed in with a bit of denial can certainly lead to spats over the littlest things. Add to this the husband that practically yells every time he talks or a wife that has the TV up way too high every evening and hearing loss is at the root to most fights.

Depression and Hearing Loss

Along with this burden is the connection between depression and hearing loss, especially in older individuals. The loss of hearing often means a person is getting older. The sudden lack of this one sense feels like the beginning of the end of freedom, right?

That is not a realistic assessment of the problem because people with poor hearing can still do almost anything, but, it is part of the negative thinking that goes on as one adjusts to the change. As the depression gets worse, hearing loss begins to affect relationships with the ones you love like a spouse or adult child.

If you are willing to consider that a hearing problem is potentially bad for a relationship, then getting help is the best way to save it. At some point couples must make a choice; get help from a professional or just continue to fighting. One trip to the doctor is all you need to get the ball rolling.

A hearing exam does more than just improve your relationship, too. That struggle to hear may be a symptom of something serious like heart disease, high blood pressure or even diabetes. It might mean something very treatable is going on like an ear infection or ear wax blockage. How about you use the fighting as an excuse to a spouse or partner to agree to see the doctor. If the answer turns out to be hearing aids, it will be like going on your second honeymoon. A survey conducted by Hear-the-World found that almost 70 percent of couples stated hearing aids improved their relationship.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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