If you have a hearing loss, or suspect you do, it impacts more than your life. It impacts the lives of those around you, especially family, close friends and even co-workers. Why? Because untreated hearing loss makes it difficult for you to communicate with everyone, but especially with those closest to you. Here’s why you might want to consider bringing a spouse or close family member along to your next appointment with the audiologist.
Many times, the first people to realize you are having difficulty hearing are the people who live with you day in and day out—a spouse, an adult child, a close friend, even a roommate. These people often will suggest you need to have your hearing checked, and do so out of concern for your well-being.
Bringing this person to your appointment allows them to share their observations about what they are noticing related to a potential hearing loss and your behavior. Some common observations include:
- You hear better out of one ear than the other.
- You constantly ask me to repeat myself.
- You turn the volume on the TV up so loud, no one else can stay in the room with you.
- You miss important pieces of conversations. They may even be able to cite specific words you have problems hearing.
- You have difficulty hearing and talking on the phone.
- You have a hard time following directions unless they are written down step-by-step for you.
- You have recently withdrawn from social situations you once enjoyed, like church activities, going out to dinner, or playing cards with friends.
Close family or friends also may be able to provide valuable information regarding your medical condition, if there are any additional questions. All this information can be helpful for the audiologist you see and provides clues regarding a possible hearing loss.
In addition, if the audiologist diagnoses you with a hearing loss, and you are fit with hearing aids, the audiologist can ask your companion to talk with you, testing how well you can hear with the hearing aids in place, and making adjustments if necessary.
And, there are other advantages to having a support person at your side during your appointment.
- Two sets of ears are better than one. As the audiologist explains your hearing loss, and if you get hearing aids, you’ll be receiving a lot of information in a short amount of time. It can help to have someone else along who hears this important information and can help you remember what’s said.
- When your family member or friend is at your side and they hear first-hand the circumstances surrounding your hearing loss, it helps them have a better understanding of the diagnosis, and what the treatment involves. It also helps everyone have more realistic expectations from hearing aids and the rehabilitation process.
So, don’t worry about bringing a support person with you to an appointment with the audiologist. It’s a great idea to be sure you get the help you need and that everyone has a better understanding of the challenges you face.