Watching sports with Ted is extremely frustrating. He has the volume turned up so loud the walls shake, and you surely can’t pay attention to the game. All you notice is the roar of the crowd hammering against your body, punctuated by the ear-shattering staccato of the commentator’s play-by-play calls.
It isn’t in any way pleasant. But the volume seems fine for Ted. He requires the TV to be extremely loud so he can hear it, which makes it pretty obvious he needs a hearing aid. You’re just not sure how to tell him that. It should be a simple conversation, but he seems overly sensitive about the topic.
These tips are a good place to begin.
Suggest a Simple Exam
Ted needs a specialist to inform him about his hearing. He may not trust other people when they tell him he needs a hearing aid. If that’s the case, the trick will be getting Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
One of the following strategies may help you do that:
- Offer to get a screening with him. This is a beneficial way to broach a new medical situation. It’s possible you’ll learn that you’ve experienced some hearing loss, as well (it may depend on how long you’ve been exposed to a high-volume sound).
- Emphasize that he’ll only be undergoing a quick screening. In the vast majority of cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. Ted will get his results on an audiogram, which will break down his hearing by frequency. We can detail what the results mean.
Talk About Behaviors Associated With Hearing Loss
Hearing loss occurs slowly, often progressing so slowly it’s not noticeable. When this happens, you might acquire certain behaviors without recognizing it. By focusing your discussion on those behaviors, you can subtly (or not so subtly) hint that Ted (or someone like him) needs a hearing aid.
Try something like the following:
- Informing him that his family has noticed him straining to hear. Maybe that’s why fewer individuals are going to his house to watch the Big Game each year, they have a tough time dealing with the loud television.
- Remind Him that he’s not talking on the phone as much as he once did because he has a hard time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
- Point out situations where you need to translate what somebody said. Here’s a hypothetical example: your friend says something at dinner, Ted doesn’t hear or comprehend it, and you need to repeat what they said to Ted because you’re closer to him.
When you have these conversations focusing on these behaviors, not the disorder, will be the objective. Instead of talking about how Ted is experiencing hearing loss, point out how his hearing loss effects people in his life.
Highlight The Technology in Modern Hearing Aids
Sometimes, reticence to wearing hearing aids comes from outdated (but understandable) ideas of what hearing aids do and how they influence one’s personal appearance. It may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology used by modern hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- Modern hearing aids carry an immense amount of technology. Your hearing aid will connect wirelessly with your phone, TV, and other smart devices by way of Bluetooth® connectivity. This provides amplified volumes without feedback or noise.
- Some hearing aids have extra features, such as the ability to translate in real-time or track key biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- Modern hearing aids are usually very small and almost totally imperceptible to the naked eye. That’s not all, modern hearing aids are incredibly comfortable for the wearer. They aren’t the big and bulky units they used to be. Most people will probably never detect you’re wearing them.
Hearing aids, for many individuals, are an ideal extension to their other smart technology. In this modern world, hearing aids are incredibly useful and will help you enjoy activities such as live streaming.
Promote The Long-Term Advantages
Lastly, it’s worth taking time to mention the long-term advantages of hearing aids, which have been shown to help people keep (or recover) their cognitive faculties. To put it bluntly, hearing is crucial to a person’s cognitive health.
The sooner you manage your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep in the long run. When you have hearing impairment, your ears have a difficult time processing specific wavelengths and hearing aids are calibrated to fill in those missing frequencies. When you simply turn the volume up you don’t fill in the particular missing frequencies.
Recognizing that your hearing can be preserved by getting treatment when you first observe signs of hearing impairment will help people like Ted feel comfortable seeking the help they need.