Five signs your spouse may have hearing loss, and what you can do about it

Communication is key to any successful relationship. Couples experiencing a breakdown in this area may blame it on their partner’s selective listening, however the problem may be more serious. Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

The impact of hearing loss can have a devastating effect on relationships. Feelings of isolation, loneliness, and frustration can become common as partners struggle to connect with one another. Despite the prevalence of hearing loss, fewer than one in three (30 percent) of adults aged 70 and older with hearing loss, who could benefit from hearing aids, have ever actually used them.

Identifying if hearing loss is in factor contributing to communication challenges in your relationship is an important first step.

Here are five signs your partner or spouse may have hearing loss and what you can do about it.

  1. They do not answer when you call to them.
  2. They turn the volume of the television and radio up loud.
  3. They miss parts of dialogue in conversations with friends, and ask you “what did they say?”
  4. They don’t hear the doorbell or a cell phone ring.
  5. They may complain of ringing in their ears.

If your partner or spouse experiences any of these issues, the first step is to make sure they schedule an appointment for a hearing test. The hearing test is typically conducted by an audiologist who will provide an evaluation of the sensitivity of your partner’s sense of hearing. The test evaluates a person’s ability to hear by measuring the ability of sound to reach the brain.

The audiologist will then be able to treat the issue based on the results. If hearing loss is in fact present, there are several treatment options that can greatly improve the quality of life for both you and your partner.