How Should You Approach a Loved One Concerning Their Loss Of Hearing?

Husband talking to his wife about her hearing loss and how to get help.

Someone you love has hearing loss, now what should you do? Hearing loss commonly goes unnoticed by those who suffer from it and that makes it much more difficult to talk about. No one is benefited by neglecting this frustrating issue. Your family member’s life will be enhanced by the things you do now so don’t wait to find a way to talk about it. To help get you there, consider these strategies.

Study More so You Can Discuss it Better

First and foremost, you should recognize what is going on yourself so you can explain it. When you get older your chance of getting hearing loss increases. About one in every three people have some amount of hearing reduction by the time they are 74 and greater than half have it after they reach the age of 75.

Presbycusis is the medical name for this form of ear damage. The effect is gradual and normally affects both ears similarly. This hearing loss probably began years before it was noticed.

There are lots of reasons presbycusis happens. To put it simply, decades of hearing sound eventually breaks down the fragile mechanism of the inner ear, specifically the tiny hair cells. These hair cells produce electrical signals that go to the brain. What you know as sound is actually a message that is received and then translated by the brain. Those hairs are an essential factor of hearing.

Chronic illnesses can play a role, as well, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure

Each one can harm the ear and impair the hearing.

Set a Date

Where you decide to have a talk with your loved one is just as important as what you say. Scheduling something so you can have a conversation is your best bet. It’s important not to be interrupted so decide on a private place. Bringing literature on the topic can be very helpful. For instance, the doctor may have a brochure that clarifies presbycusis.

Let’s Discuss the Whys

The response you can expect right away is for the person to be defensive. Because it is related to aging, hearing loss can be a sensitive matter. It’s difficult to accept that you are getting older. Older people fight to stay in control of their daily lives and they may think poor hearing challenges that freedom.

Be ready to offer particulars as to how you know they have some hearing problems.

Mention that you need to constantly repeat yourself during conversations, too. Keep the conversation casual and don’t make it sound like you are stressing. As you comprehend and put everything into perspective, be patient.

Now it’s Time to Listen

Once you have said what you need to, be ready to sit back and listen. Your family member may share concerns or say they have recognized some changes but didn’t know what to do. In order to help them come to a realization about their hearing loss, ask questions which motivate them to keep talking.

Let Them Know They Have a Support System

Hearing loss comes with a lot of fear and that may be difficult to get past. Many people feel on their own with their condition and don’t realize they have family and friends who will be there for them. Remind them of how other family members have found ways to cope with the same issue.

Bring Solutions

The most crucial part of this conversation is going to be what to do next. Hearing loss is not the end of the world so let your loved one know that. There are a lot of available tools including hearing aids which can be helpful. Much more sleek and modern hearing aids are currently available. They come with features that improve the quality of life and come in many shapes and sizes. Show them some literature on a computer or brochure detailing the different devices that are available.

Finally, suggest that the first place to begin is at the doctor’s office. Some hearing loss is temporary. Rule out earwax build up or medication side effects that may be causing your issue by getting an ear examination. After that the doctor can schedule a hearing test, and you can go from there.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.