Friday, January 27, 2023

Fighting Non-Stop With Your Partner? Could There ACTUALLY Be Something Wrong With Your Hearing?

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Ok, how often do you have a conversation with your partner, fully thinking they’re listening, but come crunch time, they have no idea what you’re talking about?

If you answered ‘all the time’, join the very large club of Kiwi couples who scream ‘Are your taringa PAINTED ON’ on a regular basis.

Mishearing is actually the number-one thing Kiwi couples fight about – and we’re not just talking about the old selective hearing where you damn well know what old mate’s said and you just choose to ignore it, or a recurring conversation about how to stack a dishwasher properly. This is genuine mishearing that’s causing all kinds of arguments across the country.

Research undertaken has revealed the extent of the issue, with almost three in five (58%) of those over 40 reporting they’ve had a fight with their significant other in the last month due to mishearing.

Two thirds of those surveyed listed communication as one of their top three most important relationship elements. But, actual hearing loss is not making that easy. 

It will come as no surprise that the most common times people notice hearing loss in their partner are the numerous requests for the TV to be turned up, difficulty hearing words in a noisy place such as a restaurant or bar, or frequent demands to speak more clearly or louder. And if the hearing loss is significant, they may even start avoiding social situations or withdraw from conversations.

With such grim statistics, Specsavers Senior Audiologist Kathryn Launchbury is encouraging Kiwis to talk to their loved ones about getting a hearing test (which you can actually do for free at Specsavers).

“Over half the people we surveyed (54%) reported they’d noticed a genuine sign of hearing loss in their partner. We’ve all been in a situation where we don’t feel like our partner is listening and it’s easy to just laugh it off when it happens once or twice, but when it becomes more noticeable it is important to talk about the possibility of hearing loss,” says Kathryn. “Many of the people we help have been encouraged to visit us by a partner, family member or close friend. While it may feel like nagging it can make the world of difference.”

The research also revealed that a quarter (25%) of us hadn’t even considered hearing loss as a cause of communication difficulties – rather, we’ve just putting it down to selective hearing.

“It’s natural to be fearful of something note well understood, which is why we want to get people having conversations about hearing loss,” says Kathryn. “Hearing issues don’t necessarily mean living with partial or complete hearing loss, and there is a lot we can do for people. Our audiologists can answer any questions or worries you might have.”

Research collated by 3Gem in January 2022, from 1,863 adult respondents in long-term relationships living in New Zealand, conducted for Specsavers New Zealand. 

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