Hearing loss can be tough on everyone, not just the person experiencing the hearing loss. It is second nature to help out and do what you can to ease the pain and frustration of your loved one who is struggling. While this may seem good in nature, it can cause more harm than good.

Over 50 million Americans are dealing with some form of a hearing loss within the US today. This is a very common problem that has a tendency to sneak up on patients, as it comes on gradually and without pain.

Due to this condition, we find that patients develop dependencies over time to deal with the ever-changing and ever-worsening problems they face. You may feel pride and a sense of accomplishment when you assist your loved one at first, but over time, you may be doing more harm than good.

Have You Done Any Of These?

The following is a collection of behavioral traits that are common among loved ones who live with a person with a hearing loss. These are actions that are compensating for the hearing loss instead of providing the necessary help needed.

Translator

When hearing loss is first identified, it is comforting to know that family is there to help. As a child or grandchild, repeating things in conversation may seem like a solution at first, but it is not a long-term solution.

Over time, this will lead to a co-dependency and will put a strain on the family. This may create frustration, anger, avoidance, discouragement, guilt, and many other emotions that will affect your family dynamic.

Isolation Prevention

You may find yourself constantly inviting your loved one to events and gatherings. This could be an attempt at preventing your loved ones from isolating themselves too much.

With hearing loss, it is easy to withdraw from social functions, as it is more comfortable to be at home where there is nothing to hear. This is an attempt to help by preventing isolation and encouraging good mental health.

Self-isolation has been known to lead to an array of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and dementia to name a few.

Speaking Loudly

While this may seem like a minor inconvenience at first, over time this can develop into a source of resentment. You may not say everything you want to say simply because it is too much work.

Having to repeat yourself all the time is also taxing, especially if the decision has been made to not wear a hearing aid. Louder is not always better due to the damage it can incur and it also can create distortion.

Detrimental Codependency

It is great to see two people helping each other and lifting one another up after some of life’s failures. This is the basis of a great relationship. This can also be one of its downfalls if one person is doing all the heavy lifting.

If you have assumed the position of the translator, caregiver, messenger, etc., then that is admirable, but it will not help your loved one in the long run. In fact, when a person is lucky enough to have someone care for them in that way, then they have no desire to improve their situation. So instead of helping a loved one, the “translator” ends up enabling a serious medical condition.

At Audiology On Call, we have a team of recognized local professionals across Greater Atlanta that brings the highest levels of safety protocols to your home. Your preferences remain our number one priority through your journey to better hearing.

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Kelli Smith, Au.D.

Dr. Smith earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Science and Disorders from the University of Montevallo in 1991, graduating with Cum Laude honors. She received her Master’s Degree in Audiology in 1993 from the University of South Carolina and completed her clinical Doctorate of Audiology degree (Au.D.) from Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2005. Dr. Smith is licensed by the State of Georgia as an Audiologist. She is a member of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA), the Academy of Doctors of Audiology (ADA), and the Georgia Academy of Audiology (GAA), where she served on the Board as a regional representative from 2004-2007, Chair of Publications from 2004-2008, and webmaster from 2005-2011. In 2012, Dr. Smith was awarded Honors of the Association for outstanding service to GAA.