We receive a call every now and then from family members who can’t bear to watch TV together with someone with hearing loss. It's too loud. Or sons and daughters who are finding it increasingly difficult to be understood by their parents on phone calls.
If you suspect a loved one has hearing loss, it’s not always as easy as booking them an appointment and bringing them in. Before encouraging someone with hearing loss to get the help they need, you must first get them to acknowledge they have a hearing issue.
10 Signs Your Loved One Has Hearing Loss
If someone you know is suffering from untreated hearing loss, you might notice some changes in their behavior. Therefore, we encourage you to reach out for for help as soon as you notice early signs of hearing loss, such as:
- Ask others to repeat themselves
- Experience difficulties following conversations, especially in noisy environment
- Experience Tinnitus symptoms
- Have difficulties locating source of sound
- Talk too loud
- Turn up the TV or radio volume too loud
- Unable to follow phone conversations
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Feelings of shame, guilt or anger
- Becoming self-critical, frustrated and depressed
Educate Them about Hearing Loss
Many individuals with hearing loss may not fully grasp the impact it has on their daily lives. Take the time to educate your loved one about the consequences of untreated hearing loss, such as communication difficulties, social isolation, and potential cognitive decline. Sharing relevant information and personal stories can help them recognize the importance of seeking professional help.
Does Hearing Loss Get Worse If Left Untreated?
If any level of hearing loss is left untreated, the brain gradually loses its ability to process information (due to the lack of auditory stimulation). This means that the longer you wait to seek treatment, the harder it will be for your brain to make sense of sounds, and the longer it will take to get used to wearing hearing aids.
How Can I Persuade a Loved One to Get Their Hearing Tested?
It is difficult to encourage someone with hearing loss to get the help they need without first getting them to acknowledge they have hearing issues.
- Do your research
- Find out the available hearing aid options. With today's modern hearing technology, there's a hearing aid for everyone.
- If someone you or they know wear hearing aids, consider a catch up with them.
- Everyone eventually reaches a point at which help is the only option left, so give them time to come to terms with their hearing loss and be ready to help when they ask for it.
- Give them time to come to terms with their hearing loss
- Don't talk to them about hearing loss
- Share stories of people whose life has improved from using hearing aids
- Let them bring up the subject of hearing difficulties. Encourage them to talk about obstacles they are facing with their current hearing conditions.
- Be an active listener and gain their trust.
- It’s best to bring up their possible loss every now and again than to be constantly pushing.
- Hearing about someone else’s experience, what they went through, how they sought help and the way the now feel can be really helpful.
- Schedule a hearing test
- Don’t be pushy, play it cool and choose the times to mention a hearing test carefully.
- They may get defensive and refuse, that’s fine. It will happen again and maybe you can make another gentle suggestion.
- Remind them that they can test their hearing quickly, painlessly and for free online.
- Make yourself available to accompany them when they do a hearing test.
Encouraging a loved one to take control of their hearing health requires empathy, understanding, and effective communication. By educating them about the impact of hearing loss, highlighting the benefits of hearing solutions, and providing unwavering support, you can motivate them to seek professional help. Remember to address any concerns or misconceptions and demonstrate patience throughout the process. Together, you can empower your loved one to embrace better hearing health and improve your loved one's overall quality of life.