A person you love has hearing loss, now what should you do? It’s not an easy thing to bring up because frequently those who are gradually losing their hearing don’t recognize it. Ignoring this difficult issue is not helpful for anyone involved. Your family member’s life will be bettered by the choices you make now so don’t wait to find a way to talk about it. Think about these strategies to help get you there.
If You Want to be Able to Explain it Better, do The Research
Firstly, you should recognize what is happening yourself so you can explain it. As people grow older, the risk of loss of hearing increase for them. About one in every three people suffer from some level of hearing loss by the time they are 74 and greater than half suffer from it after the age of 75.
This form of ear damage is technically known as presbycusis. The effect is gradual and usually affects both ears equally. This hearing loss most likely began years before it was detected.
Persbyscusis occurs for numerous reasons. Basically, many years of listening to sound takes its toll on the delicate mechanism of the inner ear, specifically the tiny hair cells. Electrical signals are created which go to the brain. The brain gets the signals and translates them into what you know as sound. Those hairs are an essential element of hearing.
Chronic health problems can play a role, as well, such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
All of these can injure the ear and impair the hearing.
Make a Date
The place where you decide to talk to your loved one is just as important as what you say. The best choice is to set something up so the two of you can get together and talk. To guarantee you won’t be disturbed, choose a quiet spot. Bringing literature on the topic is also quite helpful. Presbycusis might be explained in a brochure that you can obtain from a doctor, as an example.
Talk About the Whys
Expect this person to be a little defensive. Because it is associated with aging, loss of hearing can be a sensitive matter. Getting older is a difficult thing to acknowledge. The elderly struggle to stay in control of their everyday lives and they might think poor hearing challenges that freedom.
You will have to tell them why you think they have hearing loss and you will need to be specific.
They will have to be reminded how often they say “what did you say?” when people talk to them. Keep the talk casual and don’t make it sound like you are complaining. As you understand and put everything into perspective, be patient.
Be Prepared to Listen
Be ready to sit back and listen after you have said what you need to say. Your family member might have noticed some changes and could have other worries but doesn’t know what to do. Ask questions that will motivate this person to keep talking about what they’re going through to help make it real to them.
Let Them Know They Have a Support System
Hearing loss comes along with a lot of fear and that may be tough to get past. Many people feel on their own with their problem and don’t understand they have family and friends on the other side. Talk to them about others in the family who have had similar experiences and how they found ways to live with hearing loss.
The most crucial part of this conversation is going to be what should be done next. Hearing loss is not the end of the world so let your loved one know that. There are lots of tools available to help, including hearing aids. Today’s hearing aids are modern and sleek. They come in many sizes and shapes and with features that improve the quality of life. Show them some literature on a computer or brochure detailing the different devices that are available.
Going to the doctor is step one. Some hearing loss goes away. Rule out earwax build up or medication side effects that might be causing your issue by getting an ear exam. After that, the doctor can set up a hearing test, and you can go from there.