Do you suspect your loved one might be having a hard time hearing you? An open line of communication is vital to any solid relationship—hearing loss can cause a break down in this communication. Although age-related hearing loss is highly common, there is a stigma surrounding hearing issues. For many individuals, the catalyst for getting help is when a loved one notices the change and speaks up. Initiating the conversation can jump start someone’s hearing health journey. Even though hearing loss can be difficult to detect, there are some tell-tale signs you can look out for. If your loved on is struggling with his or her hearing, you may notice one or all four of these red flags:
1. Volumes have increased.
This is an easier sign to spot. Your loved one has noticeably increased the volume on their phone, the television is blasting when you watch your favorite show together, or the radio is turned way up in the car. You may even have to continually request that your partner turn down the volume because it is too loud for you and it is hurting your ears. This common issue can cause friction between loved ones, so look out for this universal indicator of hearing problems.
2. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Have the phrases “What did you say?” or “Come again?” become common in your conversations with each other? You may have noticed that it is no longer possible to communicate from different rooms or floors of your home. This can be tough because being heard is so vital in a relationship. You want to know that your spouse is listening to you and responding accordingly. However, when you are always being asked to repeat yourself, it may feel like there is a lack of understanding. This is another key sign to look out for with hearing related issues.
3. Social Isolation.
You may have noticed that your spouse may be less likely to accept invitations for parties and events with friends. Your loved one may even have begun to avoid speaking on the phone with your children or grandchildren because they have such difficulty understanding what is being said. They may even start to dodge meals out at restaurants or other crowded, loud locations because it is impossible for them to hold a conversation. All of this may be due to hearing loss—struggles with hearing often lead to anxiety, depression, and higher level of stress in social situations because of the inability to hear and respond correctly.
4. Mumbling as the scapegoat.
Lastly, your spouse may have started complaining that people mumble in conversations. Whether someone is standing a foot or ten feet away from your loved one, according to your spouse, everyone always seems to be mumbling. Hearing loss is more complicated than simply a loss of volume, it also affects the clarity with which we hear the world. Sounds may start to sound muffled and the frequencies we hear may begin to decline. Your spouse may have trouble hearing individuals with higher frequency voices such as women or children. In your partner’s mind the problem is not their own hearing, but everyone else’s continual mumbling. This can certainly indicate a decline in hearing health.
Whether one of these signs sounds familiar or all four are showing in your partner’s behavior, it is important to lend support and provide solutions rather than cause fear. Since hearing loss occurs slowly it can be hard for your partner to accept that he or she is experiencing any issues. A great way to get the ball rolling is to suggest the both of you go and get your hearing tested together. We offer free hearing evaluations, all you need to do is call or book an appointment online with us and you and your loved one could be on your way to a happier and healthier relationship!