Someone you love has hearing loss, now what should you do? Hearing loss frequently goes overlooked by those who have it and that makes it even more difficult to talk about. Ignoring this frustrating issue is not helpful for anyone involved. Find a way to discuss it with your loved one now so that their life can be bettered. Consider these suggestions to help get you there.
Study More so You Can Explain it Better
Discussing the problem is much easier if you first comprehend it. As people grow older, the chances of loss of hearing increase for them. About one person out of every three have some level of hearing loss by the time they are 74 and more than half suffer from it after they reach the age of 75.
This kind of ear damage is called presbycusis. The effect is gradual and normally affects both ears similarly. This hearing loss most likely started years before it was detected.
Persbyscusis occurs for numerous reasons. Basically, decades of hearing sound takes its toll on the fragile mechanism of the inner ear, specifically the tiny hair cells. Electrical messages are produced which go to the brain. The brain gets the message and translates them into what you know as sound. Without those hair cells, hearing is impossible.
Chronic illnesses can play a role, as well, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
Each one can harm the ear and reduce hearing.
Make a Date
The place where you choose to have a talk with your loved one is just as important as what you say. The best choice is to schedule something so the two of you can get together and have a talk. It’s important not to be disturbed so go with a quiet venue. Bring with you whatever literature you can on the subject too. Presbycusis might be explained in a brochure that you can get from a doctor, for example.
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, loss of hearing can be a sensitive topic. It’s hard to accept that you are getting older. Poor hearing may challenge the elderly’s belief that they are in control of their daily lives.
Be ready to offer specifics as to how you know they have some hearing problems.
Mention that you need to keep repeating yourself during conversations, too. Keep the discussion casual and don’t make it sound like you are complaining. Be patient and sympathetic as you put everything into perspective.
Now it’s Time to Listen
After you have said what you need to, be ready to sit back and listen. Your family member might have noticed some changes and may have other worries but doesn’t know what to do. In order to help them come to a realization about their hearing loss, ask questions that encourage them to keep talking.
Talk About the Support System
Hearing loss comes with a lot of fear and that can be hard to get past. Many people feel alone with their problem and don’t understand they have family and friends who will be there for them. Talk to them about others in the family who have had similar experiences and how they found ways to live with hearing loss.
Come Armed With Solutions
What to do next is going to be the most crucial part of the talk. Let your loved one know that hearing loss isn’t the end of the world. There are a lot of available tools such as hearing aids which can be helpful. Much more sleek and modern hearing aids are now available. They come with features that improve the quality of life and come in many shapes and sizes. If you can bring a tablet, use a computer or have some brochures that show the different devices which are now available.
Lastly, suggest that the first place to start is at the doctor’s office. Not all hearing loss is permanent. Get an ear exam and rule out things such as ear wax build up and medication that could be causing the issue. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.