How To Talk To Your Spouse About Hearing Loss

Have you noticed lately that you’re arguing with your spouse more because they don’t seem to be listening to you?

Or perhaps you’ve noticed an increase in simple misunderstandings, or you’re getting frustrated at having to repeat yourself more often. Maybe you’re even arguing about the TV volume: your spouse seems to want the TV much louder than you do these days, and it’s driving you up the wall. In other words, your spouse has a hearing problem. But – and this is extremely common – either they don’t realize yet that they have a problem, or they’re in denial about needing to address it.

If you’re hoping to talk to your spouse about their hearing loss, it’s important to realize that this is a sensitive subject for a lot of people. They may feel like hearing loss means they’re getting old, or that there’s something wrong with them. They may not want to hear what you’re saying. Yet it’s also important to treat hearing problems before they get too severe; untreated hearing loss is associated with increased cognitive decline, social withdrawal and isolation, and poor performance at work, among other issues. If you’re noticing that your spouse has a hearing problem, you should talk to them about it, but you’ll want to go about it the right way.

Read Up On It First

It can be helpful to already have some information in hand when you approach your spouse. You can read about hearing loss, what it’s like, and what its consequences are. A good resource is the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) website at It’s also a good idea to know a little about the testing process and treatment options, which typically means hearing aids.

Pick The Right Time And Place

Choose a time when you don’t have anything else going on and aren’t likely to be distracted or interrupted, and when both of you are in a good mood. You’ll want to be firm, but caring, sensitive, and non-judgmental. Try not to come across as accusatory; it helps to begin your sentences with I, rather than You. For example, “I worry about your health” or “I feel like your hearing is affecting our relationship,” rather than “You never listen to me” or “You just tune people out.” As well as making sure your spouse doesn’t feel attacked, this approach helps them to see that their hearing loss affects you (and other friends and family) as well as them.

Ask Open-Ended Questions and Listen Carefully

In all likelihood, your spouse has noticed their hearing loss and probably has concerns of their own. This can be a surprisingly emotional time for people. Coming to grips with change isn’t necessarily easy, and people can be frightened, defensive, or emotionally sensitive when confronted with the knowledge that not only are their abilities declining, but that people around them are noticing. Be gentle, and listen to what your spouse is telling you. It can take time to make peace with hearing loss and follow through with testing and treatment. While it is absolutely important to deal with hearing loss sooner rather than later, trying to force someone to do what you want them to do when they don’t feel ready can, in the end, create a larger obstacle to a successful treatment than what was there before. Try instead to come to a place of mutual understanding and support.

Get Your Hearing Tested Together

A great way to support your spouse and encourage them to get a hearing test is to sign up for one yourself. Getting appointments for the two of you at the same time is a good idea for a number of reasons: whatever the results, both of you will have moral support. It also helps to have two of you there to listen to the results and recommendations, and to remember what the hearing care professional told you. And last but not least, your spouse might be the one with the noticeable hearing problem, but it’s a great idea for you to have your hearing tested regularly as well! Hearing care is health care, and if you’re over the age of 50, you should plan on regular hearing tests as part of your preventative care. If having your hearing tested is what convinces your spouse to get a test as well, so much the better!

If You’re The One With The Hearing Problem

If you’re the one whose spouse is telling you that you have a hearing problem, the best thing you can do is be receptive. Hearing loss is extremely common, and if you live long enough, it comes for everyone eventually. Don’t be offended! If your spouse is talking to you about your hearing, it’s because they care about you and your relationship. Take it seriously, and even if you think they’re wrong and your hearing is fine, it’s a great idea to go get your hearing tested. And if you do wind up receiving a diagnosis of hearing loss, it’s important to accept the diagnosis and seek treatment. As we discussed earlier in this article, untreated hearing loss is associated with quite a few consequences for physical and cognitive health. We promise, no one will notice you have hearing aids anyway!

Earlux Can Help

If hearing loss is a pertinent topic in your household, here are some ways we’re here to help: first of all, our free online hearing screening [LINK HERE] provides a quick and painless way to see if further investigation is warranted. It doesn’t require an appointment or a clinic waiting room – just quick answers. If the test shows that one or both of you does have a hearing problem, consulting with one of our Hearing Pros is just as easy: a video call from the comfort of your own home, with no obligation to purchase anything. We’re happy to talk about these things with you, and we offer a variety of quality hearing solutions at prices to fit your budget and lifestyle.

Hearing aids can improve relationships by removing barriers to communication, but the first step is just talking about hearing loss. Be supportive, be open, and let us know if we can help!