Maybe your mother is listening to her stories with the TV volume on full blast. Perhaps your father is constantly asking you to speak up. Maybe your husband has started to avoid your family festivities because he can’t hear what everyone around him is saying.
Untreated hearing loss can affect daily life in a number of ways. If you suspect your loved one of having hearing loss, it’s only natural that you would want to help them hear better. However, you may not know how to bring up the subject. Maybe you’ve already tried and faced some resistance.
The best way to help a loved one with suspected hearing loss is to encourage them to get their hearing tested by an audiologist. Here’s how to have that delicate conversation that you may have been avoiding.
People react to hearing loss in different ways and most have common reasons for not wanting to get tested. Your loved one may not realize that they have hearing loss. To them, the changes have come on gradually, and they may not accept that they need to have their hearing tested. They may be in denial.
Or, your loved one may be too embarrassed to admit that they have trouble hearing because it shows their age. They might believe they’re too young to be dealing with hearing loss and get angered at the idea of seeing a professional. It’s important to note that increased age is not the only reason for hearing loss.
They may also be too embarrassed to wear a hearing aid, not realizing that they’re smaller and less noticeable today than they used to be.
Whatever the case may be, you should be ready to expect resistance and move past it during your conversation.
Remind them of the risks of untreated hearing loss
Unfortunately, most people with hearing loss wait seven to 10 years before having their hearing tested. Remind your loved one of the risks that come with waiting to test their hearing. Untreated hearing loss can have significant effects on everyday activities, making everything more difficult. It can strain relationships and create communication issues with spouses, family members, and friends. It can also lead to depression, feelings of isolation, and withdrawal from social activities.
Remind them how critical hearing is to daily life, in almost everything we do, and that when ears aren’t doing their job effectively, the brain has to work in overdrive to make up for the missing pieces of information, which can lead to stress and health issues. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to many health concerns, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and memory loss. What’s more, hearing loss that is left untreated will worsen over time. It’s important not to wait. Explaining these risks may create the sense of urgency that you need to help your loved one decide to schedule an appointment for a hearing test.
Point out why annual hearing tests are normal for everyone
A hearing test shouldn’t be a dreaded process. Explain to your loved one that annual hearing tests are normal and everyone should get them. Just like people should get their checkups from their physicians and annual cleanings from their dentists, they should have annual hearing screenings by an audiologist. This allows for hearing ability to be tracked and changes to be identified early on. Annual hearing tests are the best way to act on hearing loss immediately in order to avoid risks.
Offer to schedule a hearing test for them, or for both of you, in order to make them feel more at ease. Call Associated Audiologists at 1-855-547-8745 to book an appointment.