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Hearing Loss Can Change the Dynamics of Family Life

By Nicole Anzalone

When a family member has hearing loss, it is not just the individual who is affected. The entire family feels its impact, and as a result, there is lots of frustration amongst family members. It can wreak havoc in the home. 

In most cases, hearing loss happens gradually, so it is much harder to pick up on in the beginning stages. Although, the people who are closest to you start to see the signs well before you can, yourself. It may begin with noticing a gradual boost of the television volume or more of a struggle to catch all parts of speech while having a conversation. As the hearing loss progresses, so does the frustration for the individuals dealing with the impairment. 

The communication breakdown is what causes this frustration. Here is this person one has connected and related with their entire life, and then one day you cannot even have a simple conversation without a fight. It is completely normal for all parties involved to encounter times when patience is wearing thin because of the frustration of repeating yourself or the feeling of being ignored and separated from the relationship. 

Here are some common family reactions to hearing loss: Frustration – All parties involved get tired of talking loud and repeating themselves.  Isolation – Family members’ give up on communicating. It is too much work and causes too many problems.  Loss of Independence – Members in the family need to rely on one another to interpret what is going on around them, resulting in too much dependence and not enough independence.  Arguments – Patience runs thin, and tempers are short-fused because of continued misinterpretation.  Avoidance – Family can start to feel ignored and not a priority in your life. 

We are here to tell you there are solutions! Things you can do right now to make life better for you and your loved ones. Remember, your family WANTS to talk to you, and communication is essential for a healthy lifestyle.