Mishearing confirmed as the number one thing Kiwi couples have fought about in the last year

New research has revealed just how much impact not listening to each other can have, with more than half (54 per cent) of over 40s listing it as a cause of disagreements in their relationship. This Valentine’s Day, Specsavers Audiology Senior Audiologist Kathryn Launchbury, is calling on Kiwis to show their love for their partner by taking notice of the signs of actual hearing loss.

The research, from Specsavers Audiology, which offers free 15-minute hearing checks across 28 stores around the country, showed that almost three in five (58 per cent) of those over 40 have had an argument with their significant other in the last month due to them mishearing something they’d said.

When asked, all respondents admitted to having an argument due to their significant other mishearing something in the last year. It turns out that not listening is a common romantic bugbear, with 57 per cent saying that if they could improve their partner’s hearing skills they would, and 65 per cent listing communication as one of their top three most important elements of a relationship.

However, there’s a serious message here, with over half (54 per cent) reporting they have noticed a genuine sign of hearing loss in their partner such as difficulty hearing words, particularly in a noisy environment (22 per cent), needing to turn up the volume on the TV or radio (26 per cent), frequently asking people to talk louder (12 per cent) or more clearly (13 per cent), and avoidance of social situations (11 per cent).

When asked if they believe their partner not listening or mishearing them may be a sign of something more significant, 61 per cent thought there may be a genuine hearing loss to blame. Despite this, only half (51 per cent) of those surveyed have encouraged their partner to go for a hearing test.

Of those that haven’t brought the topic of getting a hearing test up, a third (35 per cent) revealed this was because their partner did not believe there was an issue and one in 10 (11 per cent) thought the issue might get better on its own. However, a quarter (25 per cent) hadn’t thought of hearing loss or didn’t really know hearing loss could be the issue.

Specsavers Senior Audiologist Kathryn Launchbury is encouraging Kiwis to demonstrate their love by talking to their partner and loved ones about getting their hearing checked as an act of love this Valentine’s Day.

“We’ve all been in a situation where we don’t feel like our partner is listening. 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 Launchbury.

“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 sooner we look into a potential issue, the more options there are to combat it and provide a better outcome”

Launchbury went on to say; “It’s natural to be fearful of something note well understood, which is why we want to get people having conversations about hearing loss with their loved ones. Hearing issues don’t necessarily mean living with partial or complete hearing loss, and there are lots we can do for people. With over ten years of experience, I understand pretty much every point of view and can answer any questions or worries. We can complete 15-minute checks that are quick and pain-free!”.

Specsavers Audiologists are encouraging Kiwis to get both their hearing and their partners hearing checked this Valentine’s Day. Every 15-minute hearing check is free and conducted by an expert audiologist.

Below are the most common hearing loss symptoms:

  • Muffling of speech and other sounds
  • Difficulty understanding words, especially against background noise or in a crowd
  • Trouble hearing consonants
  • Frequently asking others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly
  • Needing to turn up the volume of the television or radio
  • Withdrawal from conversations
  • Avoidance of some social settings

Visit Specsavers for more information or to book your free 15-minute hearing check. If further testing is required, a fee may be incurred.

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