Samantha Randels, Bountiful Hearing Center

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love.  We buy flowers and chocolates for our loved ones and book romantic dinners to show our appreciation for them.  But for those with hearing difficulty, a crowded restaurant can be an uncomfortable experience and lead to a frustrating evening for them as they attempt to converse with you.

We all care deeply for our close family and friends, so we want to do everything we can to keep them happy.  This is challenging when a hearing impairment interferes in your day-to-day life.  Having conversations is a huge frustration for both the individual who is hard of hearing and their loved one who must repeat themselves or speak loudly.  A lack of communication is a strain on the relationship.

Another cause for strife may be a disagreement on how severe the loss is or what treatment is needed.  Let’s face it – none of us want to admit we are having a difficult time hearing.  There is a stigma against hearing devices that lead us to believe hearing impairment is only for “old people.”  What’s important to remember is that as much as we love our family and friends and want them to be healthy, happy, and safe, they want the same for us.

Those who have problems with hearing will definitely miss important elements of personal conversations, but more importantly they may have trouble hearing car horns, or other safety warnings.  Those with hearing challenges are also at high risk for dementia, isolation, and depression, especially as they will oftentimes skip social events to avoid the frustration of not being able to hear anyone.  This situation will undoubtedly lead to strained relationships and will only cause stress to you and your loved ones.

While getting treatment can be a frustrating reality, just imagine how much better your relationships can be if you are getting proper treatment!  That stressful Valentine’s Day dinner will go back to being an intimate and romantic moment with your partner.  The birthday parties and other social events will no longer be aggravating when you are able to have comfortable conversations with your family and friends.

Some signs to be aware of include: muffled sounds, struggling to understand certain words, asking others to repeat themselves or speak louder, a need to turn up the volume on your TV or radio, or avoidance of social settings.  If you notice any of these symptoms, please call an audiologist to schedule a hearing evaluation!  We all value our relationships with our loved ones, so let’s do our best to avoid unneeded stress and frustration in those relationships!