In a world rich with sound and centered around communication, the impact of hearing loss extends far beyond the individual experiencing it. Hearing loss is a common issue, affecting approximately 48 million Americans and over 25% of adults worldwide, ages 60 and older, but on average, people wait seven years before seeking help.
Unfortunately, the effects of hearing loss ripple outward, affecting not only the person experiencing it but also their relationships, interactions, and overall quality of life. From family gatherings to coffee with friends and everything in between, untreated hearing loss can slowly chip away at relationships. Sometimes it can affect family members and those closest to the person experiencing hearing loss just as much, if not more, due to stress, frustration, anxiety, and fatigue.
The good news is that living with hearing loss doesn’t have to be stressful or lonely for anyone. Hearing aids can help with hearing loss and greatly improve quality of life, allowing people to re-engage with their loved ones and live their life to the fullest.
Hearing loss introduces unique communication challenges, which can put a strain on relationships. The ability to have smooth and effortless conversations may become more complicated, leading to moments of frustration, resentment, or misinterpretation for everyone involved. Simple exchanges that were once effortless might now require a bit more patience and consideration, both from the individual experiencing hearing loss and those engaging in conversation with them.
This can cause a strain on family relationships and friendships as everyday conversations and spontaneous observations or comments might require more deliberate and patient communication efforts. Group activities and gatherings may also be affected. Noisy or crowded environments can pose challenges for individuals with hearing loss, making it difficult for them to engage fully in discussions. This might lead to negative emotions and a sense of isolation or exclusion, both for the individual with hearing loss and family members or friends who might feel uncertain about how to best facilitate interactions.
These challenges don’t just occur at home, either. Communication challenges from hearing loss can affect work environments, including interactions with colleagues and supervisors, collaborative projects, and even day-to-day tasks.
Communication is the key to any good relationship, so it stands to reason that when the ability to have conversations easily is no longer possible, it can cause relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners to suffer and create strain in some of the following ways:
Everyday communication becomes difficult, leading to misunderstandings and frustration.
Misunderstandings may lead to conflicts and strained connections.
Shared activities and gatherings lose their enjoyment due to communication barriers.
Financial strain may arise from the need for treatments and assistive devices.
Social activities are curtailed, leading to withdrawal from group interactions.
Intimate conversations and humor decline, affecting emotional bonds.
The hearing partner may feel burdened by the role of translator, leading to resentment.
Loneliness sets in as the feeling of companionship diminishes.
Intimacy, both emotional and physical, may be impacted by communication challenges.
If a friend or family member brings up your hearing loss, remember that this conversation is also difficult for them. They’re likely concerned about your health and want to make sure you’re aware of the situation so you can seek treatment and re-engage with the people in your life.
Here are a few ways you can respond to their concerns:
Express appreciation for their interest in your well-being.
If your hearing loss is something you were aware of, share your experiences, including any steps you’ve already taken.
Consider taking the Eargo Hearing Screener if you haven’t already taken it online or at a Victra-Verizon store. It only takes a few minutes and can help you self-identify mild to moderate hearing loss and whether an over-the-counter hearing aid may be an option for you.* If you’re nervous, ask a loved oneto take it with you!
If you have questions about hearing loss, you can contact a professional for a hearing test or call Eargo at 1 (800) 903-6883 to discuss if Eargo may be a good option for you.
Here are a few simple tips that can go a long way toward improving communication when talking to someone with hearing loss.
Choose Quiet Settings: Opt for quiet, well-lit environments to minimize background noise and make conversations easier to follow.
Maintain Eye Contact: Face the person you're speaking to, as lip reading and facial expressions can provide valuable cues.
Get Their Attention: Before starting a conversation, ensure you have their attention to avoid them missing the first part of what you’re saying.
Speak Clearly And Slowly: Enunciate your words and speak slower, not louder.
Use Visual Cues: Use gestures, body language, and facial expressions to convey what you’re saying.
Reduce Background Noise: Turn off TVs, radios, or other sources of background noise that can compete with the conversation.
Repeat Key Information: For important details, consider repeating or rephrasing to ensure they catch the crucial information.
Be Patient: Allow extra time for the conversations.
Check For Understanding: Make sure they’re following the conversation by asking a simple question.
At Eargo, we believe life deserves to be heard and want to make better hearing one less thing you have to think about. Our mission is to make every aspect of hearing wellness virtually invisible. If you’re experiencing hearing loss, here are a few reasons why Eargo may be right for you:
Discreet And Comfortable: Eargo provides discreet, virtually invisible hearing aids that fit comfortably in your ears. They are designed to be worn comfortably all day long, making them an inconspicuous option for managing hearing loss.
No Prescription Needed: You can buy and try Eargos from the comfort of your own home.
Customizable Sound Profiles: Eargo hearing aids have excellent sound quality and are self-fitting so they can be adjusted to your hearing needs using the Eargo app. Learn more about our Sound Match technology.
Rechargeable Battery: Get up to 16 hours on a single charge for Eargo 6 and Eargo 7.
Easy, Discreet Support. Eargo's Personal Hearing Professionals (PHPs) are available via phone or email to help you find your best fit, provide tips for acclimating to your hearing aids, or to answer any other questions.
Risk-Free Trial: We offer a 45-day risk-free trial period, so you can try our hearing devices in real-life situations before committing to a purchase.
Take the Eargo Hearing Screening if you haven’t already done so online or at a Victra-Verizon store and then call 1 (800) 903-6883 to discuss your screener results with one of Eargo’s Personal Hearing Professionals (PHPs).* Learn more about Eargo hearing aids.
*The Eargo Hearing Screener is a tool designed to give you general information about your hearing. Please see a healthcare provider if you have recently noticed a sudden change in hearing, ear pain, and/or discharge. The Eargo Hearing Screener, its accessories, and application are not intended to prevent, diagnose, or treat hearing loss or any other disease or condition. THIS SCREENING DOES NOT REPLACE AN AUDIOLOGICAL EXAMINATION BY A LICENSED HEARING PROFESSIONAL. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR AUDIOLOGIST WITH ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT YOUR HEARING.
This content is made available for educational purposes only and to provide a general understanding of issues around hearing loss, hearing health, and the hearing aid industry. It is not medical advice and should not be treated as such. By using this website you understand that the information contained herein should not be used as a substitute for competent advice from a licensed health care professional in your state. Furthermore, you agree to absolve Eargo of any liability or loss that you or any other person may incur from use of the information you access through this website. Any testimonials used are from actual customers about results they personally achieved and are not intended to guarantee that current or future customers will achieve the same or similar results; rather, these testimonials represent what is possible. Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information shared on or through this website, the information may inadvertently contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. Because scientific, technology, and business practices are constantly evolving, you agree that Eargo is not responsible for the views, opinions, or accuracy of facts referenced on or through this website, or for any errors or omissions that may occur.