Talking About Hearing Loss

Figuring out if someone close to you is experiencing hearing loss isn’t always easy – they might not even notice it’s happening.

Even if you have noticed a deterioration in their hearing they may be reluctant to accept that they have hearing loss, which could be stressful for them.

They may feel frustrated by not being able to hear certain sounds or have conversations with those closest to them. This could also mean they try to avoid social situations. 

  • So what do you do next?
  • Where do you get more information?
  • Who can you go to for help?

The Earlier The Treatment, The Better

The average time it takes for someone to seek treatment after they first notice they have hearing loss is seven years. When hearing loss goes untreated, one's hearing can deteriorate and affect different aspects of everyday life. If you suspect your friend or loved one has hearing loss, it's best for them to seek help early, as the earlier hearing loss is detected the easier it is for them to adapt to life with hearing aids

So convince your family member or friend to take a hearing test or book an appointment as soon as they can. And then they will be on their way to a life of healthy hearing.

Hearing Loss Conversation Guide

It can be difficult to communicate with a loved one about their hearing troubles. Hearing loss affects individuals in a wide variety of ways. Often, it occurs gradually, so your loved one might not even realise their hearing is getting worse. Bringing up hearing loss can heighten emotions. Use our free conversation guide to prepare yourself and make sure that you're able to get help for your loved one.

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Having 'The Talk'

It’s not always easy for people to accept that they have problems with their hearing. Stress and denial are common. The most important thing is that you make sure they know you’re only having the conversation with them because you care and you want to help. So here’s some ideas to help you when you need to have “the talk”.

Ask about things you’ve noticed

Steer the conversation towards things you’ve noticed when you’re both out and about. You could ask, “Do you find it quite difficult to hear people in noisy environments?” or, “I’ve noticed you don’t like going to restaurants as much anymore? Is there a reason for that?”

Mention how their hearing loss affects other people

They may not realise the degree of their hearing loss and be unaware you are having to change the way you interact with them. You could point this out so they are aware that their hearing loss impacts those around them.

Ask why they would put up with it when it can be treated

There are a few misconceptions that people have about hearing aids and hearing loss. You can try explaining to them that you wouldn’t put up with poor eyesight and that your hearing is no different.

Hearing aid technology has advanced

Hearing aids have become smaller. In some cases you can't even tell you are wearing them. Hearing aids can make a big difference to better your hearing and overall lifestyle.

It’s not unusual

You could also try reassuring them that hearing loss is quite a normal part of life as we get older.

Change can be a wonderful thing

Acknowledge that you know they aren’t big on change, but some changes are fantastic. Seeing an audiologist or audiometrist to get their hearing tested can be life-enhancing.

Maybe give it a rest and try again later

It’s great that you tried talking to them. Remember many people resist accepting the idea they have a hearing problem and put up barriers. Try again in a few weeks and they may be more receptive to the message.

What to expect at your free hearing test?

The first step is to book a free hearing test at your local National Hearing Care clinic. When you arrive for your appointment, one of our trained staff members will take you to a quiet screening room where you'll be played a series of sounds through a set of headphones. All you have to do is press a button each time you hear a sound. Based on the outcome of your test, it will be determined if you have a hearing loss or not. If you do, you will be recommended to return for a comprehensive hearing test with an audiologist or audiometrist. For more information, watch our video on what to expect at your free hearing test.