Hearing loss taking toll on couples

Personal relationships are adversely affected by hearing loss. Hearing impaired couples are hardest hit, but relations with friends, family and colleagues suffer, as well.

Among the 27 million adult Americans with hearing loss, relations with spouses or partners are those most strongly affected by the hearing problems, according to a study conducted by Harris Interactive for Cochlear Americas. The study was conducted among 2,576 adults.

”It is very important for people in relationships to connect with each other, verbally and emotionally. Those who don’t feel heard, figuratively or literally, can feel isolated or depressed,” said John Gray, the best-selling author of ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’.

A British study among 1,500 individuals, aged 55 years and older, with hearing loss seemed to confirm that the presence of hearing loss is likely to cause marital strain. Almost one in two said that relationships with their partner, friends or family had suffered because they could not hear properly. A third had lost touch with friends, and in some cases marriages fell apart as a direct result of a breakdown in communication.

Frustration with hearing impaired people
According to the US study, 54 percent admitted that they found it frustrating to communicate with individuals who appear not to be paying attention due to their hearing loss. 32 percent acknowledged feeling actual irritation in such situations while 18 percent stated they felt ignored.

Almost half of the respondents with hearing loss had not sought treatment. Just 20 percent were aware of the many options currently available for treatment of hearing loss.

“It’s a tragedy that people don’t take action for their hearing health when so many treatment options are available”, said Dr. Pat Chute, audiologist, professor and chair, Division of Health Professions, Mercy College, to Medical News Today. “Hearing solutions exist for all types of hearing loss, including therapies such as cochlear implants, Baha or hearing aids”.

Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com; www.healthyhearing.com

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