It can be easy to tell when a loved one has trouble hearing. But no one likes acknowledging when they need help, let alone help to hear. It has negative connotations but the positive benefits of restoring hearing are immense.
If someone close to you has untreated hearing loss, its natural to want to help them. But as you may have already discovered, getting them to act is a difficult task. The first step is to have their hearing checked by a healthcare professional.
Hearing loss can be emotionally challenging. Your loved one might be going through denial, frustration, anger, loss of confidence or withdrawal. They may be defensive when discussing their hearing or try to avoid talking about it altogether.
Now that youve directly discussed hearing loss, it may be time to encourage them to organise a hearing test. Or maybe they need some more time to think about it. Suggesting a time when both of you can take an online test together may be a useful first step. Remember, you are gently guiding someone to make the decision for themselves. If you make it as easy as possible for them, they are more likely to follow through and book a full hearing test.
There are more than 250 National Hearing Care clinics around Australia and hearing tests are free and performed by trained staff. A yearly hearing test is recommended to anyone over 50 years of age as part of their annual check-up.
7. Pressure will not help
If your loved one is displaying symptoms of hearing loss, they may be experiencing a lot of additional emotional anxiety and fear. They may need time to process everything thats fine, remember to pick up the conversation again in a few weeks or months. Encourage them to be aware of their behaviour and see if they notice the same hearing difficulties you do. It is important to be respectful of their emotional experience encouragement and understanding are more likely to help them address their hearing loss than pressure.
A lot of people with unaddressed hearing loss have similar reasons for not wanting to address it. If youre aware of these common objections, you can prepare an appropriate response. Consider these three:
Hearing aids will be more trouble than they're worth
Some people think hearing aids will get in the way of their lifestyle or require a lot of maintenance. This is not true. Hearing aids come in many different styles. Some people actually report they forget they're even wearing their devices because they integrate so seamlessly with their lives.
Hearing aids are embarrassing
Some people are embarrassed to wear a hearing aid because they think it makes them look old. But constantly asking people to repeat themselves is a much more obvious and disruptive indication of hearing loss than wearing hearing aids would be. Modern hearing aids are discreet and depending on the style, some are barely visible.
I'm too young to have hearing loss
Hearing loss can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, or any other factors. Hearing difficulties are often a natural result of the ageing process, but so are deteriorating eyesight and grey hair. We all know these things happen to different people at different ages, and hearing loss is no different."
To find out more about your hearing health, book a free hearing test.
National Hearing Care blog is our place to explore ideas and themes of interest. For professional audiology advice, please contact your local clinic for a consultation