Healthy communication with our families is crucial to building a peaceful home environment and to fostering enjoyable get-togethers with those who are far away. Though the tools of good communication can take time and maturity to develop within your family, one simple barrier might be getting in the way: hearing. Without the ability to hear your family members clearly and to know that you are being heard, none of the other essential communication skills have a chance to develop in your family. Treating hearing loss can help improve family communication for the member with hearing loss as well as for those who need to be heard. Both in the immediate family and with distant relatives, successful hearing is a necessary step toward fluid communication.
When life brings accolades or successes, we turn immediately to our closest family members and those who live with us to share the joy. And yet, our immediate family members also see us at our worst when we are frustrated, disappointed, or angry about our experiences. Unfortunately these feelings can be associated with hearing loss, and our immediate family members may take the brunt of our negativity. At home, we can become curt or short tempered with family members whom we cannot hear easily, even shouting to ask them to speak up. On the other side, we may become frustrated with our family members who suffer from hearing loss. They may keep the television too loud or may seem to check out while we are talking. Important business can’t be communicated with these constraints, or we may wonder if our families have actually understood what we said. Even worse, the feeling of isolation that comes with hearing loss pervades the entire family. Though our immediate families should be the source of comfort and support in difficult times, they may be the very context for our deepest frustrations.
In addition to the poor communication that we might experience within the home, visits with extended family are an opportunity for strained communication at home. These meetings with family members at holidays, weddings, births, and funerals are the foundations of our loving bonds. We share in the joys and sorrows of life together, and these occasions are opportunities for families to travel and be together despite difficulty and expense. And alas, when hearing loss gets in the way of a family gathering, these events may no longer be the source of comfort and support but rather they may bring us additional stress, frustration, and even sadness. Some sufferers of hearing loss become anxious prior to big family events, because they know they will not be able to understand and communicate with those they love most. They may even feel like they’re letting their families down. On the other hand, family members who look forward to reconnecting with those far away may be disappointed to have a barrier to their communication when they realize that a family member has suffered from hearing loss.
The Benefits of Treatment
The good news is that you don’t have to go on with these struggles to communicate. If you are experiencing hearing loss that seems to make communication with family members more difficult, don’t hesitate to get a hearing test.
Our team at Neighborhood Hearing Aid Center will be able to diagnose your particular struggle and to suggest assistive technology that will eliminate the barrier to communication. In addition, if you have a family member who seems to be experiencing hearing loss, one of the greatest gifts you can give this loved one is a return to healthy and easy communication. Don’t stop short at encouraging your family member to get a hearing test and assistive technology.
Take the next step to contact us at Neighborhood Hearing Aid Center, to help make an appointment, and even to take your family member to the visit. Once assistive technology is in place, your job is not done. Be sure to help your loved one use these aids and to make sure they are doing so regularly. With hearing assistance, the path from poor communication with both immediate and extended family members will be cleared, and you will quickly find how much you enjoy talking and sharing your lives once again.