The story is told of a fellow who confided to his doctor about his fear that his wife was losing her hearing because she often didn't respond to him when he spoke to her. The doctor said to try a test and speak from various distances from her and see if she responds. Upon returning home and seeing his wife at the kitchen sink he stood in the living room and asked loudly, “Hey Hon, what’s for dinner?” There was no response. He tried again from the dining room, still nothing. He went to the kitchen door and asked once more with the same result. Finally he stood right behind her and asked, “Hey Hon, what’s for dinner?” She turned and glared at him and said, “O for pity sake, for the fourth time Fred, meatloaf!”
That’s a humorous example for certain but one that gets played out in relationships everywhere, every day, and in many cases the end result is far from amusing. Accurate communication is the lifeblood of any relationship but much more so in a marriage where the required intimacy depends heavily on correct communication. Consider the following:
A British study from 2009 on 1500 hearing impaired people over age 55 revealed some alarming statistics.
- Almost one in two (44%) said that relationships with their partner, friends or family had suffered because they couldn’t hear properly.
- A third (34%) had lost touch with friends and in some cases had seen marriages fall apart as a direct result of a breakdown in communication caused by hearing loss.
- Two thirds (69%) said their hearing loss seriously hindered their ability to take part in everyday conversations with friends and family causing 52% of them to feel left out and ignored in social situations.
- Women (72%) were found to be more affected by social exclusion because of hearing loss than men.
- Almost half (49%) said that losing their hearing was the worst thing about growing older.
And it’s not confined to the British by any means. A U.S. survey of baby boomers carried out in 2007 by Energizer Battery, Inc. indicates that hearing loss harms relationships on this side of the Atlantic as well. In fact nearly half (48%) of those surveyed said their marriages have suffered because of their spouse’s hearing loss. More than half, (57%) said they feel their spouse is reluctant to get a hearing check and 46% believe denial is the reason. Even more respondents (65%) indicated they felt annoyed when their significant others couldn't hear them.
Marriages, family and friends are the most precious things we have in life and anything that threatens those relationships should be dealt with quickly before they become perilously close to destroying them. Fortunately today there are many solutions available to rectify those situations. There are hearing instruments of various sizes and colors with many different choices in technology to fit almost any hearing loss need.
There are accessory items available such as wireless audio streamers for TV and stereo listening. That means no more fights over TV volume. Mini-mics can pick up a person’s voice and send it directly into the other person’s hearing aid. This allows the hearing aid wearer to hear over the noisy car or in front of the noise in a restaurant or other social event. Now, with appropriate amplification you’re not an embarrassment to your significant other at family gatherings, and more importantly those intimate conversations are will be easier to hear and you will be able to answer appropriately. Hearing instruments can be real marriage savers. If you think you may have a hearing loss that’s having a negative impact on your relationships take a little time to have a free hearing evaluation done and find out for sure. You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
(Portions of this article taken from www.healthyhearing.com)
Written by James D. Silvis.