When you think of Valentine’s Day gifts what comes to mind…greeting cards, flowers, chocolate, jewelry? What about the gift of hearing? Mile High Hearing along with many other hearing organizations, including the Better Hearing Institute, are encouraging people to have their hearing tested as a commitment to their relationships. Whether those relationships are with friends, family, co-workers or a significant other, maintaining good hearing health and good communication is one of the keys to success.

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), around 48 million Americans have hearing loss. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that almost 25% of American adults have hearing loss. When one or two people in a relationship have hearing loss it typically has a negative impact on the relationship. Research has shown that the relationship with a significant other is most likely to suffer the most. Feelings of frustration, resentment, loneliness, and loss of companionship are some of the negative emotions that have been linked to hearing loss.

Here are several recommendations on how to maintain positive relationships as it relates to hearing healthcare.

1. Hearing Evaluation

Whether you have difficulty hearing or not having your hearing tested by an Audiologist is an important part in maintaining good health. Since hearing loss is often a gradual process, many people may not recognize they have hearing loss. An Audiologist will counsel you on the implications of hearing loss and how it impacts relationships and general health. An Audiologist will also discuss your options for rehabilitation if you have hearing loss.

2. Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are often recommended as part of the rehabilitative process for hearing loss. Hearing aids have been shown to improve relationship satisfaction. Hearing aids allow people to reengage with life and relationships that may have suffered due to untreated hearing loss.

3. Communication Strategies

Communication is a two person process and both people are responsible for creating an effective communication situation. Make sure to face your communication partner, limit extra background noise, and use your communication partner’s name when first getting his/her attention.

4. Involve Others

Having the support or your significant other, family, and/or friends can help enhance your experience with hearing aids and the rehabilitative process. We strongly encourage people to have a significant other or another support person accompany them to their appointments.

Make sure to show your ears and relationships some love this Valentine’s Day. Improve your quality of life and improve the quality of your relationships by having your hearing tested!