By Anita Giles MS, CCC-A Audiologist,
Physicians Hearing Center
Valentine’s Day is a time to express love. Couples show affection, kindness, and love to their partners with gifts, experiences, and special treatment. Cards and letters declare affection and love.
Remember falling in love with that special “One”? It begins with a glance; a spoken word and the attraction begins. You can’t resist spending time together talking and getting to know each other. Time can change that connection when your ability to hear changes and it becomes more of a chore to maintain relationships. Difficulty understanding the conversation causes you to miss or misinterpret what is being said. When it becomes difficult to hear, avoiding people is easier than the struggle to understand. When you isolate yourself and lose interest in the people around you, they miss You!
A spouse of someone with untreated hearing loss expressed her frustration about the impact it has on their life, so I asked her to write a letter to him. Here’s what she had to say.
My Best Beloved,
Like everyone else, our lives have been filled with joys and sorrows. One of our very greatest joys has been our spontaneous, random, often very lengthy conversations about everything and anything. In the past 4 years that joy has been harder and harder to find and a sorrow has grown and grown. Having to repeat, explain, and often just give up on talking with you has become more and more of a slayer of our joy. Your gradual loss of hearing is obvious to everyone who loves you, yet you continue to say,” It’s not that bad”. It is though. It is destroying one of the most intimate and important parts of our love story, our ability to talk, laugh, and solve all the world’s problems for hours on end. I grieve that loss. I crave the joy of talking with you.
This is a solvable problem. Please bring your ears back to me. We still have an awful lot to talk about.Yours Always,
Life is about maintaining these loving relationships. When you can’t hear well enough to communicate and connect, the ability to share the fullness of life is lost. Are you missing what you once had with your loved ones? Would you like to have that connection again?
The first step is to seek the professional help of an audiologist to identify the problem and develop a treatment plan to remediate your HL, including hearing devices.
Relationship and communication are partnerships between two people. Hearing aids do not restore hearing to “normal” but assist a damaged auditory system to function by giving the brain sound information the ears are no longer able to provide. When your loved one obtains hearing aids, there is an adjustment period. Please visit the resources listed below to see how you can help them navigate this journey.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Addressing your hearing health needs is recommitting to the ones you love and is the gift they desire.
Be Ear-Resistible again!
American Academy of Audiology
Communicating With People with Hearing Loss
How to communicate with people who have hearing loss