Hearing & Balance Doctors

Can Hearing Loss Affect Relationships?

Can Hearing Loss Affect Relationships?

One of the most important components of any relationship is good communication. Poor communication can lead to misunderstandings, frustration, resentment, and more. Our sense of hearing is critical to our ability to communicate with others.

The negative impact of hearing loss on relationships is something that has been extensively studied. A survey, titled “Till Deaf Do Us Part,” surveyed 1500 people over the age of 55 with a hearing loss.

Over 50% felt forgotten or ignored. Additionally, 49% said losing their hearing was the worst part of aging. And over 30% reported that they had either lost a friendship or had a marriage fail directly because of hearing loss.

Downward Spiral

Losing hearing often happens gradually and is unexpected. The first warning signs can be struggling to hear in background noise, turning the television up, and frequently asking people to repeat themselves.

Warning signs can progress to social withdrawal, depression, and a struggle to connect with loved ones. A survey published in 2007 by the American Speech and Hearing Association reported that many relationships suffered, but the relationship with a spouse typically suffered the most.

Treatment for Hearing Loss

Some hearing losses can be medically cured. For example, a wax plug in the ear canal or fluid behind the eardrum can be easily identified and corrected.

Most hearing losses are more complex but can be significantly helped with hearing aids. Hearing aids have improved greatly over the years.  Satisfaction rates with hearing aids have steadily climbed over the past few decades and is now above 90%.

Our doctors specialize in evaluating and treating hearing loss. We create a customized hearing treatment plan, tailored to meet the unique listening needs of each individual.

We are dedicated to helping our patients succeed long term. We find it very rewarding to help restore hearing and to help maintain or elevate relationships. Learn more about our doctors on the internet at hearingdoctors.net or by calling us at (435) 688-8991.

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Dr. Ryan Whitaker

Dr. Whitaker joined Hearing & Balance Doctors of Utah in 2009. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Brigham Young University in 2005 with his Bachelors of Science in Audiology and Speech Pathology. He then received his Doctor of Audiology from the University of Arizona where he minored in Cognitive Neuroscience (the study of how people perceive sound). While at the University of Arizona, he specialized in evoked potentials, specifically researching Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials and the Acoustic Change Complex. He gained clinical experience at Tucson Ear, Nose, and Throat; St. Joseph’s Hospital Balance Center; Arizona Hearing Specialists; and the Center for Hearing Impaired Children. Dr. Whitaker was raised in Orem, Utah with three older sisters and a younger brother (who is also an audiologist). His grandfather was a cartoonist for the Walt Disney Studios where he drew Donald Duck and many characters in Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland before starting the BYU Motion Picture Studio. Dr. Whitaker is married and has three sons. He is passionate about college football and also enjoys hiking in Southern Utah, reading, and traveling. He has traveled extensively through South Asia including Thailand, India, Nepal, and a church mission to the Philippines.

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