Frustration and suspicions of selective hearing are among problems faced by married couples with one spouse suffering from hearing loss. Almost half of those questioned in a study about the effects of hearing loss stated that hearing impairment adversely affects their marriages.
Hearing loss creates problems between married partners, according to a survey among men and women, aged 44-62 years, whose spouses were hearing impaired. Almost half of the 1,065 respondents said their spouses' hearing loss had adverse affects on their marriages.
Irritation and suspicions about selective hearing
The most common negative effect on spouses of people with hearing loss is frustration. Nearly seven in 10 reported that they become frustrated when their spouse is unable to hear them. 16 percent feel ignored and another eight percent said they become sad or hurt.
Some of the respondents suspect that their hearing impaired spouses deliberately filter out unwanted information. Almost half stated that their spouses don't hear when asked to do domestic chores. At the same time, two in three reported that their spouses have no difficulty hearing when a snack is being prepared.
Marital benefits from hearing loss treatment
The survey indicated that diagnosing and treating hearing loss in one spouse may benefit their marriage. Yet, more than half of the respondents said that their partners were reluctant to have their hearing tested. Almost as many respondents believed that their hearing impaired spouses refused to acknowledge their haring loss.
Bary Williams, an audiologist and member of the team of researchers behind the survey, pointed out that married partners must co-operate and encourage healthy hearing habits in each other. He emphasized the importance of having a hearing test at the first suspicion of a hearing loss.
Published on hear-it on November 24, 2008.
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