4 Facts on How Hearing Loss Impacts Adult Relationships

hearing loss impact

Adults with hearing loss often believe the problem only affects their lives and daily activities. In reality, hearing problems also can negatively impact their relationships with a partner, family, friends and coworkers. Here are four facts to know:

  1. Americans impactedHearing Loss Association of America reports that 48 million Americans, or 20 percent of people, have some level of hearing loss. About 60 percent of these individuals are working or in a learning environment.
  2. Significant problem – Researchers at Johns Hopkins University believe hearing loss has become a major public health issue. In fact, more than half of adults ages 70-plus will be affected by 2020, and the problem will continue to grow as the population ages.

  3. Treatment options– Hearing aids are an effective treatment to enhance normal hearing. In some cases, doctors may recommend cochlear implant surgery.

    Many people with hearing problems try to ignore the problem because of worries about treatment costs, or they don’t want others to know. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that nearly 25 percent of people ages 65-plus are living with severe hearing loss. Children and young adults also can suffer from hearing loss.

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  4. Strained relationships – Successful human relationships thrive on effective communication, with active sharing, listening and feedback. People with hearing loss may struggle to understand conversations with friends or family members. They may misunderstand words or abruptly interrupt someone speaking, which can create frustration and tension.

    Beattie Creative Communications Group surveyed 1,500 people in England, ages 55-plus with diagnosed hearing loss, and here is what they learned:

    • 44 percent of people said relationships with family and friends had suffered
    • 34 percent reported hearing problems broke up marriages and/or friendships
    • 52 to 69 percent felt neglected in social settings because they couldn’t hear and participate in discussions, especially women
    • 49 percent indicated that losing their hearing was the worst experience of aging

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