HEARING TIPS

How to Talk to a Loved One Concerning Their Loss of Hearing

Husband talking to his wife about her hearing loss and how to get help.

If you discover someone you love is suffering from hearing loss what should you do. Normally, people who have slow hearing loss don’t realize it so that makes it a hard subject to talk about. No one is benefited by ignoring this frustrating issue. Your loved one’s life will be enhanced by the things you do now so don’t wait to find a way to discuss it. Consider these strategies to help get you there.

Learn More so You Can Explain it Better

You need to comprehend the problem first if you want to be able to explain it. The chances of hearing loss increase as people get older. About one person out of every three suffer from some degree of hearing loss by the time they reach the age of 74 and more than half suffer from it after the age of 75.

This type of ear damage is called presbycusis. It typically occurs in both ears equally, and the effect is gradual. Most likely this person began losing some hearing years before anybody noticed.

Persbyscusis occurs for many reasons. The simplest explanation for age-related hearing loss is that decades of sound takes its toll on the delicate mechanisms of the ear, particularly the little hair cells. These hair cells generate electrical signals that go to the brain. The brain gets the message and translates them into what you know as sound. Those hairs are an essential element of hearing.

Chronic illnesses can play a role, as well, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes

Hearing is reduced and the ear can be hurt by each one of these.

Set a Date

What you say to your loved one is important but it’s also important where you have the conversation. The best option is to schedule something so the two of you can get together and have a talk. Pick a venue that is quiet and ensures you won’t be disturbed. Bringing written material on the topic is also quite helpful. For instance, the doctor might have a brochure that explains presbycusis.

Let’s Discuss the Whys

The response you can expect at first is for the person to be defensive. Because it is associated with aging, hearing loss can be a delicate topic. Getting older is a difficult thing to acknowledge. Senior citizens struggle to stay in control of their daily lives and they might believe poor hearing challenges that freedom.

Be ready to offer particulars as to how you know they have some hearing problems.

They will have to be reminded how often they say “what did you say?” when people are talking to them. Don’t make it sound like you’re complaining, keep it casual. Be patient and sympathetic as you put everything into perspective.

Be Prepared to Listen

Be ready to sit back and listen once you have said what you need to say. Your family member may share concerns or say they have noticed some changes but were unsure what they should do. So that you can help them come to a realization about their hearing loss, ask questions which encourage them to keep talking.

Let Them Know They Have a Support System

Getting past the fear that comes with hearing loss is going to be the greatest obstacle. Many people feel on their own with their condition and don’t understand they have family and friends who will be there for them. Remind them of how other family members have discovered a way to cope with the same problem.

Come Armed With Solutions

What to do next is going to be the most important part of the talk. Let your loved one know that hearing loss is not the end of the world. There are plenty of tools available to help, including hearing aids. Much more sleek and modern hearing aids are currently available. They come with features that improve the quality of life and come in all shapes and sizes. Show them some literature on a computer or brochure detailing the different devices that are available.

Finally, recommend that the first place to begin is at the doctor’s office. Not all hearing loss is permanent. Have an ear examination and rule out things such as ear wax build up and medication that might be causing the problem. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.

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