Hearing loss affects around 40 million people in the United States, and chances are that you know someone – or you will one day know someone – with hearing loss. But what can you do when someone you love is struggling with their hearing, but they won’t do anything about it?
People Are in Denial About Hearing Loss
A lot of people with hearing loss – particularly age-related hearing loss – are simply in denial about it. They will say the volume on the TV is too low, they will complain that others around them are mumbling, or they’ll argue that the background noise is too loud, all while denying that they have a hearing problem.
Help Your loved Ones with Hearing Loss
Knowing that untreated hearing loss can negatively impact activities and relationships, and even cause cognitive impairment, it’s important that you don’t let your loved one get away with their excuses. There are things you can do to help.
Here are a few tips you can use to help your loved ones get the help they need to hear better and live better.
- Do Your Research. Educate yourself on hearing tests and more importantly, on hearing aids. Speak to an audiologist about the screening process and arm yourself with information before you approach your loved one.
- Lead By Example. Have annual hearing exams yourself to demonstrate that they are normal and beneficial.
- Be Gentle and Understanding. No one wants to look old or feel old, and that may be the association your loved one has with hearing aids. Address their concerns but remind them that much of their life is just passing them by without hearing aids.
- Share Success Stories. Talk to people who have had good experiences wearing hearing aids and share their stories with your loved ones.
- Don’t Be an Enabler. Speaking louder, repeating yourself, and relaying television and phone conversations encourage your loved one to delay getting help. Don’t make it easier for them.
- Participate. Be there with your loved ones when they go to their appointment. Your input will be valuable for both your loved one and for the audiologist.
Hearing impairment is a reality for millions of people, but they don’t have to live with hearing loss. With a little gentle encouragement to see an audiologist, your loved ones can get back to participating fully in their lives.
Our experienced audiologists can help you, and your loved ones. We are available to offer you the help you need in talking to your loved ones and help your loved ones get back into life with better hearing.