This month's question about hearing loss and relationships is a common one. Here is my answer to the blog question of the month:
Hearing loss is an invisible disability and often the person who is affected by it is the last one to know it. Unfortunately, with hearing loss, it’s also the spouse and family who are often most affected by their loved one’s hearing loss. Why? Everyone becomes their hearing aids for them. It affects one’ relationships due to frequent misunderstandings that lead to arguments and later cause one to feel embarrassed. Constant repetition does get old and many times the speaker just gives up and the conversation ends. Doorbells and telephone calls aren’t heard and go unanswered. Other environmental warning signals (alarms, sirens, security alarms, alarm clocks) that ensure safety go unheard or so diminished that they no longer get the attention they require. But more important, ones’ self esteem is affected. A hearing loss left untreated can cause depression, anxiety and social isolation. Hearing loss is more noticeable than a hearing aid. If you know someone who suffers from hearing loss, encourage them to get their hearing tested so they can see a demonstration of how wonderful it is to hear the people who love them. It will be the greatest gift for both of you!