A new survey has shown that deafness can result in misunderstandings between couples and can cause marital discord.
The hard-of-hearing partner often feels upset that their spouse does not understand what it is like to suffer from the condition, the poll found.
But the deaf person's reluctance to recognise their condition and do anything about it is also a major source of stress. third of respondents to the study, which questioned more than 1000 people with deafness over 40, said their inability to hear properly had led to arguments with the family.
And one in 16 said their partner had even threatened to leave or divorce them unless they got their hearing sorted out.
Joan McKechnie, an audiologist with the firm HearingDirect.com, which carried out the survey, said the problem was that many people were "in denial".
"It can be a real shock for many people in their middle age who begin to experience hearing loss, as they do not like the idea of wearing a hearing aid, which has a real stigma associated with 'disabled' and old people," the Telegraph quoted McKechnie as saying.
"Instead, they battle on in denial trying to cope as best they can," she added.