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  • Hearing loss and the link to dementia

    Love, Marriage and Mishearing

    Mishearing can lead to frustration and misunderstanding for one or both partners in a relationship, but how do you prevent mishearing in the first place?

    Patience is very important. Communicating openly can help you and your partner maintain a lasting, loving relationship.

    Here are some of the basic steps, which any couple can employ, to build and maintain strong marital relationships.

    Set Expectations – Educate Your Partner

    Understanding the logistics of your partner’s hearing can mean taking a big step forward in your communication. A hard-of-hearing person may take up to five seconds to process the answer to a simple yes or no question. And frequently, a hard-of-hearing person only catches a percentage of the words spoken, and has to guess the rest of the meaning. If you’re a hearing person, that can seem like a very long time, because you’re expecting an instant answer. Sometimes the hearing person might say things like “Never mind, it wasn’t important,” which sends out the message that the hard-of-hearing person is not important, although that is probably not the intent.

    Instead of allowing this to happen, the couple can ensure that the hearing partner knows what to expect in their communication. If you can both accept the reality that there is a cognitive delay in offering a response to a simple question, it will help.

    Partners should make sure each one understands the other’s capabilities. It’s important for the hard-of-hearing partner to understand how much the hearing partner can hear. It’s often the case that hard-of-hearing people think that hearing people could hear everything. But that might not be the case if the hearing partner is in one room running water in the sink or vacuuming, they might not be able to hear the other person. Ironically, the hard-of-hearing person can become frustrated if their hearing partner can’t hear them. Talking about this issue can help both partners understand each other’s perspective a little better.

    Make a Plan

    Planning ahead and discussing contingencies is an important part of setting expectations. Acknowledging any concerns can highlight the need to anticipate how hearing loss can alter or prevent communication in different situations.

    Communicate About Communicating

    Make sure your partner understands how you feel. Explain to your family the best way for you to be able to “hear” them, for example, ask them to talk to you if they’re facing you, so you can see their lips move and their facial expression and better understand what is being said.

    Communicating effectively with each other is the first step preventing mishearing. Educating others is the next. If you have new acquaintances, make it clear with them that you or your partner is hearing impaired. Openness is paramount to getting support from others.

    Take Joy

    All relationships have bumps in the road, but the partners who can work through these issues together—and take something positive from them—are the most successful. You may get frustrated, and you may bark at each other, but hopefully you can end up laughing about it.

    Preventing mishearing

    In most cases, mishearing is preventable with routine hearing checks throughout life.

    Our hearing clinics in Farnham Common and Marlow are fully equipped with the latest cutting edge testing facilities, thus enabling us to carry out entirely accurate hearing assessments, and consequently advise on the best possible solution, should a client wish to proceed with our recommendation.

    Unlike widely advertised high street/national outlets who are basically affiliated with one major hearing aid manufacturer, we are proudly independent. This means we can give entirely unbiased advice about the most appropriate hearing aids that we feel best suit each individual. We deal with all the major hearing aid manufacturers, Phonak hearing aids, Oticon, Widex and GN ReSound to name but a few and supply all types of hearing aids, including the latest digital hearing aids and invisible hearing aids, such as Lyric hearing aids also known as hidden hearing aids.

    If you’d like to discuss hearing loss or mishearing, either your own or a friend or loved one, please contact us.

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