Hearing loss can occur so gradually that many people don’t even notice they have a problem. Very often, it’s actually the partner of the person with undiagnosed hearing loss who notices something is amiss.
If you’re worried your partner could be suffering from hearing loss, familiarise yourself with these five signs that indicate it might be time for a hearing test.
1. “Would you mind repeating that?”
Miscommunication is the most obvious sign that there might be something wrong. If you find yourself repeating yourself a lot more than you used to, it is likely your partner has a hearing loss and is struggling to understand you.
2. The volume on the TV is turned up too loud
If your significant other likes to have the TV turned up to a level that is uncomfortable for other members of the family, it is very possible that he or she has a hearing loss.
3. Distance in social situations
If your once talkative partner has becoming increasingly quiet in social settings, it could be that they are having trouble hearing what others are saying. It is not uncommon for people with untreated hearing loss to become withdrawn and isolated as they deal with the stress and embarrassment of struggling to follow conversation.
Hearing loss does not just make sound quieter – it has a range of effects that can make conversation sound muffled or garbled. If you notice your spouse looking confused or disoriented in the midst of a conversation, smiling politely instead of laughing at a joke or misinterpreting what someone has said, hearing loss could be the root of the problem.
It is very normal for people with untreated hearing loss to become frustrated at those around them as they strain to understand what is being said. These feelings are understandable, as developing a hearing loss is a life-altering experience. Living with an untreated hearing impairment takes a great deal of energy and patience, so it’s no wonder your partner feels frustrated.
Even though it’s hard, try not to take it personally if your partner takes out some of his or her frustration on you. Try to remember that it’s not actually you they’re frustrated with – it’s the fact they can’t hear as well as they used to.
If you recognise any of these signs in your significant other, it might be time to gently suggest that a hearing test is a good idea. This is a delicate topic though, and should be approached with care. For advice on broaching the subject, click here.
If your partner would like to book a hearing test, click here.