A colleague once said to me, “people get glasses for themselves and hearing aids for others.” When we can’t see well it really affects our own experiences the most, but when we can’t hear well it affects others. That disconnect of communication affects many relationships; children and grandchildren often feel ignored, friends get tired of repeating themselves, and spouses become frustrated. Those closest to us are the ones most dramatically affected by our hearing loss.
A survey by Cochlear Americas revealed that the relationships of people with hearing loss cited as most likely to suffer was the one with their romantic partner. A whopping 35 percent said romantic relationships trumped others in communication difficulties. When asked about their feelings when conversing with someone who appeared not to be listening because of hearing loss, 54 percent of people said they felt frustrated, 32 percent felt annoyed, 23 percent were sad, and 18 percent felt ignored.
When someone comes in for a hearing evaluation and demo, we ask them to bring a family member. One of the main reasons is because of the fact that the hearing loss affects everyone and there are many things that can be discussed regarding hearing loss, amplification, and communication tips. We also like a voice you have difficulty hearing available for the demo.