Watching sports with Ted is extremely difficult. Paying attention to the game is impossible because the volume is cranked up so loud that the walls shake. The commentator’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the deafening thunder of the crowd.
It’s not pleasant. But for Ted, it’s a normal volume. Everything needs to be at max volume in order for him to hear it, making it rather apparent that it’s time to consider hearing aids. How to talk to him about it is the difficulty. It should be a simple discussion, but he seems overly sensitive about the topic.
The following are a few tips that might help.
Recommend a Simple Screening
Ted needs to learn more about his hearing from an expert. He may not trust other people when they inform him he needs a hearing aid. If that’s the case, the strategy will be getting Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
One of the following tactics might help you do that:
- Offer to get a screening too. This is a helpful way to discuss a new medical situation. You might find out that you also have some degree of hearing loss (depending on how long you’ve been exposed to loud sound).
- Attempt to make him feel more at ease by letting him know that it’s just a simple screening. In most 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 explain what the results mean.
Talk About Behaviors Linked To Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is often indiscernible because it advances so slowly. When this happens, you might acquire certain behaviors without recognizing it. By concentrating your conversation on those behaviors, you can subtly (or not so subtly) hint that Ted (or somebody like him) needs a hearing aid.
Try some of these strategies:
- Letting him know that his family has noticed him straining to hear. Every year it seems as if fewer and fewer people are going over to see the Big Game and that could be because the TV is turned up so loud.
- Remind Him that he’s not using 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 that you’ve noticed how often you’re “translating” for him. Here’s a hypothetical example: somebody is talking to Ted but you’re closer and Ted needs you to constantly repeat what was said because he can’t understand them.
When you have these talks focusing on these behaviors, not the condition, will be the objective. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing loss, point out how his hearing loss effects those around him.
Emphasize The Technology in Contemporary Hearing Aids
In some cases, reluctance to using hearing aids comes from outdated (but understandable) ideas of what hearing aids do and how they impact one’s personal appearance. It may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology employed by contemporary hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- Typically, contemporary hearing aids are so small you can’t even see them. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They’re not cumbersome like they once were. Most individuals will probably never notice you’re wearing them.
- Modern hearing aids carry an incredible 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 can even monitor your health and fitness biometrics and render them in real time as well as other additional features.
For many people, hearing aids feel like an extension of their smartphones or tablets. Modern hearing aids are very useful pieces of technology that help you enjoy live streaming.
Promote The Long-Term Benefits
Finally, take some time to point out the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. To put it bluntly, hearing is critical to a person’s cognitive health.
The sooner you treat your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep in the long run. When you have hearing loss, your ears have a difficult time processing particular 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 specific frequencies that are missing.
Getting treatment as soon as you start noticing hearing loss can help save your hearing, and knowing that will help persuade people like Ted to seek help.