You probably realize how important communication is for a good relationship. Difficulties with hearing can compromise that effective communication and cause ongoing problems for you and your significant other. If you suspect you have age-related hearing loss but have avoided dealing with the issue, it's time to get a hearing test and take steps to resolve this problem.
Statistics on Age-Related Hearing Loss
There's no reason to feel embarrassed about losing some ability to perceive sounds as you age. The problem is very common. One study found that about 21 percent of persons between 48 and 59 years old have some level of hearing difficulty. The percentage more than doubles for people 65 and older, at 45 percent of this group.
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) says that about 2 percent of people between 45 and 54 have hearing difficulty that is disabling. The number is 8-1/2 percent for persons aged 55 to 64. Almost 25 percent of people in the 65-to-74 age range suffer from this level of hearing loss severity.
People tend to avoid dealing with these problems. Only about 16 percent of people aged 20 to 69 who probably should wear hearing aids have ever done so, according to the NIDCD.
Hearing Loss & Relationships
Numerous problems can develop in a relationship when one person won't acknowledge their hearing loss. Can you relate to any of these issues that could cause frustration for your significant other? Perhaps you:
- avoid restaurants in which you can't hear conversation
- avoid parties and other social events with large groups of people
- routinely pretend you understood what your partner said when you really didn't
- need your partner to repeat something several times
- rely on your partner to tell you what other people are saying
- watch TV by yourself because your partner doesn't like the loud volume
- avoid talking on your cell phone when you're not home because you can't understand the other person
A study published in 2014 found that one spouse's hearing loss can lead to negative feelings in the marriage. Sixty-nine percent of the study participants reported frustration connected with their spouse's hearing problems.
What You Can Do Now
Schedule a hearing test so you can begin improving your quality of life and your relationship with your significant other. Hearing aids have come a long way over the years. Many are practically invisible inside the ear, and different technologies specifically address the kinds of issues you have the most trouble with. Don't delay the positive effects you can achieve with better hearing. Places like The Hearing Clinic can help you improve your hearing.