Don’t Ignore Hearing Loss.

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Don’t let hearing loss hurt your relationships

It’s frustrating when you can’t hear everything being said to you — and not just for you.

Not hearing well may make it hard to keep up with friends and family. After a while, you might start feeling excluded from conversations because you have trouble hearing what’s being said.

That may make you feel alone. But you’re not alone. About 1 in 3 people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Aging. That number climbs with older age.

If people don’t know you’re having a hard time hearing, they may assume you’re uninterested, confused, or irritable. That may create problems in your relationships and leave you and others feeling angry or frustrated.

That’s why it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about hearing loss. In many cases, a hearing aid may help. Or there may be other reasons for your hearing loss — reasons that could be treated.

Hiding hearing loss from the ones who love you is never a good idea. Instead, try these tips for staying in the conversation:

  • Let people know you have a hearing problem.
  • Ask them to face you and speak clearly and slowly.
  • Let them know if you didn’t catch what they said.
  • Look for quieter places to talk.
  • Pay attention. It’s easier to understand missed words when you know the context of the conversation.

Instead of withdrawing, turn to your loved ones for help if you’re experiencing hearing loss. Chances are, they want to support you through this.

Sources: American Geriatrics Society; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Institute on Aging