The Hard Truth: Hearing Loss is Affecting Your Relationships

It is our predisposition as humans to make social connections and form meaningful relationships. However, it is difficult to make connections when you have difficulty participating in general conversation because of hearing loss. Clear communication is crucial to establishing new relationships and maintaining connections with friends and family. When you can’t hear clearly, you may have a hard time keeping up with group conversations, throwing in your two cents, and simply even making a positive first impression.

Peak ENT and Voice Center believes everyone deserves to be heard and recognizes that better hearing is a part of a healthy lifestyle.  To make your voice count, you also need to be able to listen to input from other people. It may take more than one visit to our hearing clinics in Denver to determine the best treatment options for your hearing loss, but it will be a step towards growing and preserving your relationships.


Quality of Your Conversations

Relationships are often born from meaningful interactions, and quality conversations are instrumental for the latter. Think back on when you first met a dear friend. You might have felt comfortable with one another right away, but it wasn’t until you talked about your common interests that you truly formed a bond.

Replicating this experience with hearing loss could be difficult. You might feel self-conscious about the fact that you have to ask people to repeat themselves. As a result, you stick to exchanging pleasantries and small talk and then head off before the conversation gets longer and more in-depth.

The results of a 2016 study published in Ear and Hearing reflects this behavior. The researchers found that seniors’ urge to isolate themselves increases by 52 percent for every 10-decibel drop in their hearing sensitivity.



Hearing and Cognition

The ability to think on our feet helps us understand the people with whom we’re interacting. To process thoughts and keep conversations moving forward, however, you need to hear and understand what others are saying.

Studies also show that that hearing impairment increases the risk of cognitive decline. Several studies have even explored the connection between the loss of hearing and dementia.

Even if we don’t take things too far in that direction, poor hearing and poor understanding of others is a recipe for tension in relationships. It breeds miscommunication and can lead to disagreements.  It also diminishes your ability to mediate and be the reasonable voice for others — skills that could win people’s trust and give birth to new friendships.


Happiness Leads to Higher Quality of Life

We’ve talked about how hearing loss affects the way you interact with people and that it could reduce the quality of your relationships. The falling dominoes could also extend to your happiness and quality of life.

Gradual hearing loss increases the risk of depression, especially among those of advanced age. Studies say they experience behavioral and social challenges when communication become more difficult. It’s likely that their condition causes frustration and it may discourage others from approaching them for friendly conversation.

Keep in mind, though, that the future isn’t entirely grim for people with hearing loss. The silver lining is that hearing aids and treatments can help to improve hearing and understanding — and with it, your ability to maintain, develop, and nurture relationships. Consult one of our Audiologist to further explore options for treatment of your hearing loss including hearing aids and surgical options like bone conduction implants. Let Peak ENT and Voice Center guide you through this treatment process.

The journey to building lasting and meaningful relationships starts with a visit to our hearing clinics. Visit our Doctors of Audiology in our Broomfield, Brighton, or Golden clinic. You may also book an appointment by filling out our contact form.

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