The Effects of Hearing Loss On the Family

by | Nov 16, 2020 | Hearing Loss

The effects of hearing loss can be isolating, but they’re not necessarily isolated in terms of who they affect. Let the hearing care professionals at Colorado Ear Care tell you more about how the effects hearing loss can be a family-wide affliction — and how you can combat them!

Based on recent data, hearing loss affects somewhere between ten and fifteen percent of people in the United States. That’s approximately thirty-five to fifty MILLION people. And while there have been great strides made over the last twenty-plus years regarding hearing aid technology, its features, its flexibility, and its effectiveness, the public’s embrace of wearing hearing technology to improve their lives is still nowhere near what it could be.  

Why? Well, there are a number of reasons this stigma exists, be it a fear of aging, a fear of acceptance, or perhaps even a mindset that associates hearing aid technology with negative memories of a friend or a relative’s hearing aids. The analog hearing aid technology of thirty or more years ago was often unreliable. 

The stigma associated with hearing aids is often memory-based

For many, despite the undeniable benefits older analog devices did deliver, the technology at the time could also be uncomfortable, create a sensation of hollowness when speaking, and even make whistling or feedback sounds in certain situations. In other words, for many, their perception of hearing aid technology is more informed by their memories rather than what current hearing aid technology really is.

These negative perceptions can cause people to delay or even ignore altogether their need for hearing healthcare. It should come as no surprise we at Colorado Ear Care want everyone in our community to have the best hearing healthcare possible. Not just because it’s good for the hearing technology industry, but because it’s truly good for our entire community when people are experiencing their optimal health. 

How untreated hearing loss can drive a wedge between families

When a treatable hearing loss is ignored, it can fly under the radar of awareness, both for the person experiencing the hearing loss, as well as those surrounding that person. Unless it’s a situation where a loud event causes an immediate noise-induced hearing loss, hearing loss for most is a more gradual occurrence. The progressive nature of hearing loss can sometimes mask its effects for the people who have the hearing loss as well as for those friends and family members who surround them. Instead of it being  immediately apparent, hearing loss will present itself to friends and family members through changes in behavior. One of the most common complaints hearing professionals hear when speaking to couples is related to the volume of the television. One partner is driven from the room because the TV is being watched at an uncomfortably loud volume. 

This might seem like a small situation in the abstract, but watching television together, be it sports, reality TV, or binge watching the latest streaming series, is an incredibly common pastime for many couples and families. Not being able to do this together means less time together, means fewer shared experiences, and can be the basis for a fractured relationship.

Untreated hearing loss — it’s a matter of frequency. Literally.

Similarly, hearing loss, which is more likely to affect men than women, will cause a person to lose their ability to hear certain frequencies. We frequently work with male patients who complain that they have an inability to hear the voices of their wives and that of their young children and grandchildren, and that’s because those voices are generally in the higher frequencies. 

This is where couples and families begin a pattern of being asked to — and getting frustrated by having to — repeat themselves over and over again. Again, this can be a foundational element that causes relationships to break down, and it’s usually because both parties aren’t fully aware that there’s an issue that can be addressed and possibly treated. 

Untreated hearing loss can make social situations increasingly difficult

Restaurants, parties, and other social situations that can take place in noisy environments can be exhausting for those who have untreated hearing problems. Your ability to focus on voices you want to listen to, to actively participate in a group conversation, and to fully be in the moment becomes increasingly difficult and ultimately exhausting. 

When you can’t hear certain frequencies, you have to work harder to do so. In fact, your brain has to work harder to do so, and it becomes mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. Your feelings of fatigue increase. Ultimately, people start avoiding social situations for these reasons, and, again, this untreated hearing concern becomes a major contributing factor to the degradation of friend and family relationships and your ability to fully connect with others and with the things that you love to do. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Hearing care is healthcare.
Colorado Ear Care is hearing healthcare defined.

The cornerstone of a great hearing healthcare experience is finding a provider who you can build a relationship with, someone who you can connect with, express your situation to, and get a real understanding of your hearing situation, your treatment options, and your path forward in rediscovering the sounds you’ve been missing. Technology is a factor, but hearing wellness is so much more than putting a device in your ear and turning it on. 

In the twenty-plus years our founders have been in hearing care, they’ve strived to forge sincere relationships with each and every patient they’ve served. That’s why we’re so committed to diagnostics. It helps us focus on the precise nature of a person’s unique hearing situation so that the solutions we recommend directly reflect the way you want to live your life.

Hearing loss treatment is a family affair. That’s why we always recommend that the person getting tested for a hearing loss bring a companion, be they a friend or family member, so that we can get a broader perspective on this potential hearing loss and how it’s affecting everyone’s lives. The same goes for post-hearing aid fittings. We do our best to make this process as inclusive as possible so that hearing outcomes are as good as they can possibly be. It’s what everyone in our care deserves. 

You deserve the best in hearing care.
And Colorado Hearing Care is here to deliver that to you!
Contact us today to learn more about your hearing solutions!

Talk with one of our friendly hearing and balance professionals today.