Hearing loss can be a major source of frustration in relationships, with the hearing partner constantly being asked to repeat what they have said. But a newly published study in the Hearing Review has found that the issues can run much deeper than that.

The researchers suggest that the natural back and forth of conversation is interrupted, affecting connectedness, spontaneity and the sharing of observations, small talk and unexpected experiences. Hearing partners said that in order to ensure the person with hearing loss understands them correctly, they tend to filter their language. And they felt that having to repeat themselves time and time again causes them to sound annoyed when conversing with their partner. 

Couples indicated that communication in background noise was particularly difficult, such as at restaurants, pubs, shopping centres, cars and on public transport.

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