How To Improve Your Relationships: The Trick Could Be In Ear Hearing Aids
November 30, 2022

Communication is the essential building block of all relationships. If you feel your partner no longer pays attention to what you are saying or your loved ones become frustrated by your poor listening, the problem may be physical hearing loss. In ear hearing aids are simple solutions that may drastically improve your relationships and help you fully participate in conversations. 

What Are In Ear Hearing Aids?

The modern world is full of noise that can permanently damage the anatomy of the ear. An in ear hearing aid acts as a replacement, restoring hearing loss due to damage or aging.

Hearing aids are no longer bulky, expensive devices that visibly wrap around your ear. Cutting-edge hearing aids improve your hearing while fitting inside the ear canal. In ear models are comfortable and only noticeable on close inspection. 

Technological advances have lowered the cost of in ear hearing aids, with the price of the high-end Atom Pro on par with a set of Apple AirPods Pro. If you think hearing loss may be the cause of your relationship problems, this small investment can save hours of frustration. 

How Does Poor Hearing Damage Your Relationships?

how poor hearing damages relationships

Many couples, families and friends fight over easily fixable hearing loss issues. A hurt partner may attribute poor listening to a lack of interest or deeper relationship worries. In reality, physical hearing damage may be to blame.

People whose relationships suffer due to hearing loss are often unaware of the problem since their feelings towards their partner haven't changed. However, hearing loss can cause long-term emotional damage in a relationship if left untreated. 

Everyday Frustrations

Hearing loss affects every part of your day with your partner. Simple requests like chores and favors that make your partner feel supported often go unheard. A partner may become frustrated by having to check on a request multiple times each day, and this can even lead to arguments if the person with hearing loss believes they were never told about it. People who purchase in ear hearing aids frequently report less daily frustration with their loved ones.

Social situations with your partner are also more difficult with untreated hearing loss. Many participants in studies about hearing loss and marriage reported acting as their partner's translator in social situations. This takes away from their enjoyment and can generate resentment over time. Put another way, nothing dampens a date night like having to repeat every word the waiter says to your partner. 

Complaints and Criticism

Some of the most impressive and practical research on marriage comes from the Gottman Institute, founded by Drs. John and Julie Gottman. After studying thousands of couples and tracking divorce rates over many years, the Gottmans came up with their "Four Horsemen," the clearest predictors of divorce:

  • Criticism of one's partner
  • Defensiveness, including that partner's refusal to engage in the criticism
  • Contempt on both sides because of poor communication
  • Stonewalling or shutting down due to long-term emotional pain

How does this progression relate to hearing loss and in ear hearing aids? Criticism begins this vicious cycle, and it can start on either side. Partners with untreated hearing loss often complain that loved ones are mumbling when in reality, they're speaking clearly at a normal volume. The loved one may then become defensive because the criticism is untrue.

Alternatively, the partner without hearing loss often criticizes the other's listening skills, claiming that the affected partner never pays attention or doesn't care. The partner with hearing loss may become defensive since that individual does care and pays attention to the part of the communication actually heard. In these cases, something as simple as in ear hearing aids could have prevented this harmful emotional cycle. 

Missed Bids for Connection

The Gottman Insitute also researched how happy couples maintain a healthy marriage. They found strong marriages require many small positive interactions each day. They termed these interactions "bids for connection." When you have untreated hearing loss, it makes it almost impossible to answer those all-important bids successfully. 

One example of a bid is a classic question: "How was your day?" The way you respond to this question affects the long-term health of the relationship. Ignoring a bid — even if you didn't physically hear it — is a negative interaction that weakens your bond. The Gottmans found that happy couples had a ratio of five successful bids to one missed bid.

In a successful bid, the other partner gives a short answer such as: "Good, thank you. I got most of the work on the May project completed." For an even stronger connection, both you and your partner need to listen carefully to each word and ask substantive questions that show interest. This is almost impossible with untreated hearing loss. 

Dismissal of Problems

Many people often find it difficult to confront their hearing loss since they associate it with aging, poor health, specialist visits and large medical bills. However, dismissing the problem typically harms your relationships.

Hearing technology has advanced further than most people realize. In ear hearing aids have never been simpler to obtain, more comfortable, more effective or more affordable.

Weakened Relationships With Children

Parent-child relationships also suffer when hearing loss goes untreated. Adult loved ones can understand poor hearing and comprehend that it's a physical issue rather than a lack of interest. However, many young children lack these emotional skills. 

If your child or other youngsters are speaking or trying to get your attention, they can be hurt if you misunderstand or ignore them. Telling them to speak up or stop mumbling is a poor solution since they'll likely interpret that as painful criticism, and they may eventually stop trying to connect with you. Being able to physically hear your child is critical to maintaining a close bond as a parent. 

Where Can You Purchase In Ear Hearing Aids?

If your marriage, family relationships, friendships or work relationships suffer from poor communication, in ear hearing aids may provide an easy fix. Audien Hearing is proud to be a leader in affordable hearing technology. Browse our selection of rechargeable hearing aids to improve your relationships and overall quality of life.

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Drew Sutton M.D.

Drew Sutton, MD is a board-certified otolaryngologist. He has extensive experience and training in sinus and respiratory diseases, ear and skull base surgery, and pulmonary disorders. He has served as a Clinical Instructor at Grady Hospital Emory University for more than 12 years.

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