Why Is It Important to Have a Communication Partner When You Have Your Hearing Evaluated?

When setting an appointment with us, you may wonder why we ask for someone to attend your appointment with you.  For many, the hearing healthcare journey can be quite long.  On average, people wait 7 years between the time they notice they are having hearing difficulties, and actually taking action to get help.  Seeking a solution to your hearing difficulties is an important decision, and bringing your communication partner with you to the appointment is very beneficial.

What is a communication partner?

A communication partner is someone that a person with hearing difficulties communicates with on a regular basis.  That partner can be a spouse, sibling, child, friend, relative, colleague, or other caregiver.

Why is your communication partner an important part of your hearing healthcare journey?

  • Relationships are based on communication and hearing loss is a communication loss. 
    • There is a breakdown when we are not able to hear properly and misunderstand.  One of the biggest factors in becoming a successful hearing aid user is whether or not the communication partner is involved.
  • A communication partner helps the patient remember what happens during the visit.
    • When a patient comes in for a hearing evaluation or consultation, there is a lot to remember.
    • Having someone with you during the appointment can help you remember the details.
  • A communication partner allows for a financial discussion regarding a hearing aid purchase if needed
    • Often, financial decisions are discussed with loved ones prior to the purchase.
    • If the communication partner is not at the visit, they may not understand all of the benefits of better hearing, and therefore are unable to justify the cost.

Hearing loss is a “Third Party Disability”

Third-party disability is defined as “the disability of family members due to the health condition of their significant other.”  When it comes to hearing loss, those closest to a person struggling to hear (communication partners) can suffer from third party disability.  While the person with the hearing loss may feel that they are the most inconvenienced, the truth is their communication partner is significantly impacted by the loss as well. 

  • They may have to constantly interpret conversations
  • They may have to constantly explain their partner’s hearing difficulties in social situations
  • They may avoid social situations completely because it’s easier to stay home
  • Miscommunication between the hearing impaired and the communication partner can cause unnecessary upset and frustration

At Freedom Hearing Center, we strongly recommend that you bring a communication partner with you to your initial hearing evaluation and hearing aid fitting, if hearing instruments are the agreed upon solution.  We want to ensure that you are successful on your hearing healthcare journey!  Having your communication partner supporting you throughout the process will greatly improve your chances of success.