When left untreated, hearing loss can have a profound impact on your health and wellbeing. It can also have a negative impact on those around you, especially family and friends.
No one cares more about someone than their family and friends. For that reason, a condition like hearing loss can have a serious impact on someone’s close relationships. Safety, communication, and treatment can be sources of strife, which can cause added stress to family members and friends that want the best for their loved ones.
Hearing loss can cause frustration for both parties during a conversation. The hard of hearing person might have a difficult time hearing or understanding their partner, while the other person might feel exhausted after repeating themselves and enunciating their words. Entire conversations can be missed, and a lack of proper communication can put a strain on a relationship.
While instant messaging and email can be important in these situations, family members might not want to communicate strictly through text. They want to speak face-to-face with their loved ones, and hearing loss can be a barrier in this situation.
Disagreements regarding treatment
Where friends and family might agree that testing and treatment are necessary, a hard of hearing person might be uncomfortable with their hearing loss. They might deny treatment or refuse to get diagnosed at all. Even if the symptoms are obvious, they might deny their condition and insist they’re fine. Even if they appear to be coping with their lives, their untreated hearing loss might be a serious stressor for them.
Their feelings are important, but this denial can have an impact on those around them. They want their loved one to get help, which might require testing or hearing aids. Arguments about these things might occur, which can put serious stress on their relationships.
Concerns about safety
Untreated hearing loss comes with a host of problems, but one of the more pressing issues is safety. Driving, walking, and working can become dangerous for hard-of-hearing people. Depending on their degree of hearing loss, they might have trouble hearing car horns, warnings, and traffic. These sounds might blend into their surroundings, which can lead to serious accidents.
Friends and family might have a lot of fears and concerns regarding their loved one’s safety. Going out, missing phone calls, and even crossing the street become sources of stress, and they might grow stressed or paranoid while thinking about what could go wrong. Over time, they might grow exhausted or overprotective, and disagreements over safety precautions might arise.
Hearing loss can cause people to miss entire conversations, especially when they are not actively involved in them. If someone offhandedly mentions an event, the hard-of-hearing person might not get the invitation. If they do, they might run into further issues later. Concerts, loud restaurants, and parties are all places where conversation can be difficult, especially for people with hearing loss.
A hard-of-hearing person might avoid these social gatherings, which can lead to isolation and strained friendships. While friends and family should try and make allowances for their loved ones, catering to them might take time and effort they can’t easily afford. In these cases, hearing aids can make things easier for both parties.
It’s impossible to know exactly how untreated hearing loss might affect someone. They might have a hard time talking over the phone, or miss certain events, or even get into accidents. This uncertainty is a source of stress for family members, friends, and the hard of hearing person themselves. While deciding to get treatment might be a difficult choice, getting help can benefit everyone involved.
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