Hearing loss often comes on gradually, and it has been no different for your loved one. Little things such as turning the volume up on the TV too loudly or asking you to repeat yourself happen more and more frequently.
It was when they started to become withdrawn and uninterested in going out with family and friends that you really became concerned. Deep down, you knew this wasn’t right.
You’ve wanted to talk to your loved one for some time about their hearing loss. Yet, the right moment never seems to come along.
And if it does, you find yourself speechless. You don’t want to upset them, but at the same time, you don’t want to see them struggle any longer.
You wonder how they’ll react. Will they get angry? Embarrassed?
Many people with hearing loss feel embarrassed, ashamed, and alone. Some worry about the stigmas attached to hearing loss, such as:
- Old age
- Having a disability
- Vanity reasons surrounding hearing aids
But approaching your loved one about their hearing is the best thing you can do for them. Because the longer treatment is put off, the more difficult it is to treat when they finally seek care.
If you’re looking for the best first step in helping a loved one address their hearing loss, you’re in the right place.
Do Some Research
The internet is the place to go. Here you can find a wealth of information on hearing loss. First, write down some facts and keynotes. Then, with a few figures, you can point out that your loved one is not suffering alone.
Ensure you visit credible sources – this could include the resource page on your local audiologist’s website (hint, hint!) or pages like The National Institution on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, which highlights vital statistics and crucial information.
You could also download a few brochures or bookmark a few websites explaining and showing what modern hearing aids look like. You’ll find that the majority of them are tiny, almost invisible devices. However, they are far from the clunky devices from years ago.
A Heart-To-Heart Conversation
Don’t mention their hearing loss entirely out of the blue. Arrange a time when you can sit down together without any distractions.
Before you begin, consider how they may feel and react. Ask your loved one about their thoughts or concerns about their hearing. Explain some of the signs you’ve noticed and let them know you care and are concerned.
Don’t insist on hearing aids immediately, but instead recommend a trip to the audiologist. Your loved one may already feel depressed or withdrawn – raising your voice is likely to upset them more, and nothing will be accomplished.
Seek Further Support
If you find having this conversation difficult, you don’t have to do it alone. You could ask family or close friends to help you. They could verify your observations and also encourage your loved one to seek help.
This may help your loved one to realize that their hearing loss isn’t only impacting their life but the lives of those around them. They just may feel motivated and ready to take action.
Do It With Them
When your loved one is ready to visit the audiologist, show that you are behind them 100% and schedule a hearing assessment as well. This will let them know how much your care about their hearing and their overall wellbeing.
And, of course, it also shows your value toward a critical aspect of health. After all, hearing assessments are the best preventative measure in delaying hearing loss!
The Best Next Steps
At Audiology Associates, our team of 11 Doctors of audiology across 12 Maryland locations has been the trusted hearing experts that communities have turned to for the past 44 years.
To schedule your comprehensive hearing assessment, please click here.
We hope to meet you soon.