Three quarters of Brits believe their partner has ‘selective hearing’ - and men are ‘worse’ than women, according to a study.
It is a familiar scenario for couples across the UK - they ask their beloved to do something and their other half conveniently ‘doesn’t hear’ what is said.
During the course of a typical week, men ‘won’t hear’ what their partner is saying on seven occasions - 388 times-a-year in total.
In comparison, women will opt 'not to listen' just six times-a-week or 339 times-a-year.
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However annoying, experts at Scrivens Hearing Care, marking Hearing Awareness Month, warn this could be more than simple 'laziness' - and could be more worrying.
More than half of adults admitted they are concerned their partner’s ‘selective hearing’ could be a result of genuine hearing difficulties.
Around four in 10 even went as far as to say they 'know with certainty' their other half struggles to hear.
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.”
A third of the 2,000 adults polled said their partner had appeared to be trying to read their lips because they cannot make out what is being said - a common sign of hearing loss.
Similarly, 47 per cent admitted their other half has a tendency to mumble - another indicator of possible hearing problems.
The inabitilty to hear consonants is also a symptom of hearing difficulties, with more than a quarter saying their partner has demonstrated signs of this.
Six in 10 said their spouse also has a tendency to watch TV or listen to the radio with the volume turned up high.
And a third revealed their beloved frequently has to resort to asking others to speak more slowly, clearly and loudly.
It also emerged four in 10 said their significant other gets frustrated during social gatherings because they struggle to make out what is being said.
Further to this, 40 per cent believe their partner has difficulty understanding words - especially when there’s lots of background noise.
A third also revealed their other half has a tendency to withdraw from conversations as a direct result.
The Scrivens study carried out through OnePoll also found a third had no idea free hearing tests and NHS hearing care services are available in many high street locations - such as opticians.
Kirran Saimbi added: “The earlier we can seek help for hearing loss the better, as it can prevent common side-effects such as social withdrawal and depression.
“Whether or not we suspect our hearing isn’t as good as it used to be, regular hearing checks are a good way of monitoring our ear health.”