August 31, 2022

Is your Husband Experiencing Hearing Loss?

Men are more likely than women to have hearing loss, yet they often avoid or delay treatment. As a result, they often feel isolated and alone — especially if they don't have close relationships with other people who have hearing loss.

If you are the wife of a man with hearing loss, you've probably experienced their refusal to get help. Maybe he asks you to repeat yourself all the time, or he misinterprets things you say and gets confused about what's happening around him.

Men are more likely than women to have hearing loss, yet they often avoid or delay treatment. As a result, they often feel isolated and alone — especially if they don't have close relationships with other people who have hearing loss.

Why do men avoid getting their hearing treated

Here are some reasons why men may avoid getting help:

Men are supposed to be strong and able-bodied, right? They don't want to admit they need help. So when it comes to hearing loss, which points out their vulnerabilities, many men won't admit they need help. They might try to ignore the problem or even pretend that nothing is wrong until it becomes impossible for them not to notice their own symptoms anymore.

Another reason why men avoid discussing their hearing loss is that they may be worried about how others will react. He may worry that people are laughing at him behind his back or that he will lose his masculinity by wearing them. The thought of wearing hearing aids can make a man feel vulnerable, especially if he has never worn them. What they don’t often consider is how people think of them when they aren’t hearing things properly. 

How to communicate with your husband who has hearing loss

Hearing loss is a common health concern, but it can be incredibly challenging when living with someone losing their hearing. If you live with a loved one who has hearing loss and is looking for ways to improve communication, here are some tips:

  • Get close and face them when talking to them. This allows them to see your lips or facial expressions and makes it easier for them to understand you.
  • Speak slowly and clearly, but not too slowly or loudly. Speaking too quickly can cause mumbling while speaking too loudly can make it hard for them to understand you. 
  • Speak in simple sentences and use short words that they will be able to hear instead of long sentences full of complex words that they may not understand at all times due to their hearing loss.
  • Avoid background noise when talking with someone with hearing loss because this can make it even more difficult for them to understand what you are saying; turn off televisions or radios when talking with someone if possible so that there is no background noise interfering with your conversation.
  • Avoid interrupting. Hearing loss can make it difficult for people to focus on what they're saying, so they may become distracted by other voices or noises in the room. To avoid this problem, allow the person with hearing loss to finish their sentence before you respond. 

How to convince your husband to get their hearing loss treated.

You may have noticed that your loved one is losing their hearing, but they still refuse to get tested. Perhaps they don't want to admit that they might need hearing aids, or maybe they're scared of what doctors will say about their condition. Whatever their reason, convincing someone else to get help for their hearing loss is never easy — especially if it means taking away some of their independence or control over their body.

Here are some tips for convincing a loved one to get hearing treatment:

Find out what they want — If they aren't ready for treatment yet but want more information about it, ask them what type of information would be helpful for them (e.g., brochures from audiologists) and provide it for them. This will encourage them down the road when they're ready for treatment.

Let them know you're available to help. If you notice that your loved one has trouble hearing, tell them that you're there for them. Showing them that you care is essential.

Choose your words carefully. It's important not to sound like you're criticizing your loved one or trying to tell them what to do. Instead, be upbeat about the benefits of getting help for their hearing loss. Listen carefully for any signs that your loved one wants help but doesn't know how or where to start looking for it — maybe they miss essential conversations at work or can't hear when someone speaks from behind them. If you think there might be an opening here, try asking if they would consider seeing an audiologist or other hearing professional sometime in the future.

Encourage them to take the first step. A hearing test is the first port of call and may convince your husband that the other stages aren't so bad. 

If you think your husband is ready for hearing treatment, contact us today! We would be honored to help.

Written by
Reviewed by
Dr. Melissa Karp, Au.D.
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Melissa Karp is a board-certified audiologist with special expertise in tinnitus treatment, auditory processing disorder (APD) evaluation, hearing aid fitting and aural rehabilitation.