If you’ve ever been speaking to your boyfriend and have got the impression he just isn’t listening to you, you’re not imagining things.
Not surprisingly it always seems to happen when you’ve just asked them to do something, like ‘please can you pick your boxers up off the floor?’, or ‘do you mind if we watch The Circle tonight instead of the football?’, or ‘shall we go shopping?’.
Don’t worry if this sounds all too familiar though, because according to a new study a massive three-quarters of Brits believe their partner has ‘selective hearing’ – and men are apparently worse than women.
In fact, during the course of a year, men ‘won’t hear’ what their partner is saying a total of 388 times. To put that into perspective, it’s more than there are days in the year. In comparison, women will choose not to listen a total of 339 times a year.
However annoying this might be, experts at Scrivens Hearing Care who carried out the study warn this could be more than simple ‘laziness’ – and could actually be a sign of genuine hearing difficulties.
More than half of the 2,000 adults polled admitted they were concerned their partner’s ‘selective hearing’ could be a sign of something more worrying. Around four in 10 went as far as saying they ‘know with certainty’ their other half struggles to hear.
Not only that, but a third of those polled said their partner had appeared to be trying to read their lips because they could not make out what is being said, and 47% admitted their other half has a tendency to mumble – both of which are indicators of hearing loss.
Scrivens senior hearing aid audiologist Kirran Saimbi said:
Most of us will have experienced ‘selective hearing’ – either being the accused or the accuser. But joking aside, ‘selective hearing’ could be a sign of hearing loss. Left ignored, hearing loss can lead to isolation, depression and there is evidence of a link with dementia.
The changes in our hearing are often so subtle and happen over time, that it can be very hard for us to notice the impact it’s having on our lives and those around us. That’s why regular hearing checks are so important.
The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found a third of people had no idea free hearing tests and NHS hearing care services are available in many high street locations, such as opticians.
If you have concerns about your hearing, you can take the Scrivens online hearing check challenge here.