Good communication is the key to maintaining any relationship, however, when it comes to family, due to the intimacy level it becomes essential. When you can speak comfortably and candidly about topics and challenges you can best support each other through whatever comes your way. Your family communication style sets the tone for how family members interact with the rest of society, the workplace, schoolmates, and future relationships.
Do you speak about issues as they come up or do you avoid difficult feelings until they release in other ways? The best way to improve the intimacy in your family and promote your children on a path toward replicating these models is to create situations where speaking openly about feelings and ideas is encouraged.
Hearing Loss in the Family
Is there someone with hearing loss in your family? While it most commonly affects an older population, hearing loss affects people of all ages due to noise exposure, impact on the head, chronic ear infections, and exposure to certain airborne chemicals. About 1 in 8 people in the US 12 years or older have hearing loss in both ears based on standard hearing tests. Unaddressed hearing loss is a major contributor to rifts in even your closest family dynamics. However, if you are aware there is an issue it can be addressed.
Signs of a Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can occur at any age however, it is incredibly common as we age. At 65 one in three are affected and by 75 years one in two suffer, due to changes in the ear as we age. Even so, it’s important to spot a hearing loss early in your kids, your partner, or in you before it can progress unaddressed. When ignored, communication issues can turn into learning issues at school, lower earnings at work, unemployment, anxiety, depression, a lesser sense of self, and declining cognitive functioning. However, by addressing a hearing loss with hearing aids many of these effects can be mitigated.
Insisting on Family Meals
Many regard family meals as the backbone of creating closeness in family dynamics. We all live busy lives but ensuring you and your family can all come together at the end of the day builds a sense of community and support. You can all share stories of your day, talk about ideas, laugh, and enjoy food together. However, these group settings can also be a place for difficult issues to arise, especially for those who suffer from hearing loss. Hearing loss can cause you to experience breaks in words or sentences and cause you to misunderstand or mishear what people are saying. The other members of your family may feel that you aren’t paying attention, or you are disinterested when it is the result of a hearing issue. As a result, resentment and disagreements can become commonplace.
Conflicts Over the TV
In this modern age, we often connect as a family while watching our favorite tv shows and movies. However, nightly conflicts over the volume of the TV can start to take a toll on your family dynamic. The person with a hearing issue wants the TV loud while the other members feel assaulted by the volume. However, there are several solutions available to address these issues.
The Importance of Treatment
If you are suffering from hearing loss, it’s important to understand that it is not just affecting you but your entire family. Unaddressed, hearing loss can cause a tight-knit family to feel as if they are unraveling as you take less time to spend quality time together due to continued communication struggles. However, by investing in treatment you can start to rebuild the rifts formed by hearing loss. While most cases of hearing loss are irreversible the most common treatment is hearing aids. These amazing digital devices are worn in or near the ear canal and can be programmed based on a hearing exam to amplify only the tones, and pitches which pose an issue. With enhanced hearing you can enjoy a more active lifestyle, feeling confident in the world with your family, whether you walking driving, or enjoying time at home.
Schedule a Hearing Exam
Maintaining positive and open communication benefits the family in so many ways, so it’s important that everyone hears at their best. If you have concerns about your hearing or that of any other member of your family, it is important to schedule a hearing exam! Contact us today to make an appointment.