Hearing Health Blog

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

What is the best thing you can do when you recognize that a loved one is suffering from hearing loss? It’s not an easy thing to bring up because often those who are gradually losing their hearing don’t recognize it. It’s a frustrating issue for the whole family and ignoring it isn’t the answer. Your family member’s life will be bettered by the things you do now so don’t wait to find a way to discuss it. To help get you there, consider these guidelines.

Learn More so You Can Discuss it Better

First of all, you should comprehend what is going on yourself so you are able to explain it. The chances of hearing loss become greater as people grow older. About one person out of every three have some level of hearing reduction by the time they reach the age of 74 and more than half have it after they reach the age of 75.

Presbycusis is the technical term for this type of ear damage. It typically occurs in both ears equally, and the effect is gradual. Years before anyone detected it, it’s probable that this person started losing their hearing.

There are many reasons why presbycusis happens. The simplest explanation for age-related hearing loss is that decades of sound takes its toll on the delicate mechanisms of the ear, specifically the tiny hair cells. Electrical messages are created that go to the brain. What you know as sound is actually a message that is received and then translated by the brain. Without those hair cells, hearing is impossible.

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

  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes

Hearing is reduced and the ear can be injured by all of these.

Make a Date

What you say to your loved one is important however it’s also important where you have the conversation. Setting something up so you can have a talk is your best bet. You don’t want to be interrupted so choose a quiet spot. If you have any written material on the subject matter, you should also bring that. For instance, the doctor might have a brochure that describes presbycusis.

Talk About the Whys

The response you can expect right away is for the person to be defensive. Because it is associated with aging, hearing loss can be a delicate subject. It’s hard to accept that you are getting older. Poor hearing may challenge the elderly’s belief that they are in control of their daily lives.

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

Discuss that you need to keep repeating yourself during conversations, too. Don’t make it seem like you’re complaining, keep it casual. As you comprehend and put everything into perspective, be patient.

Be Prepared to Listen

Be ready to sit back and listen once you have said what needs to be said. Your family member might have noticed some changes and may have other concern but doesn’t know what they should do. Ask questions that will motivate this person to keep talking about their experience to help make it real to them.

Talk About the Support System

Getting past the fear that comes with hearing loss is going to be the toughest obstacle. Many people feel alone with their problem and don’t understand they have family and friends on the other side. Talk about others in the family who have had similar experiences and how they found ways to live with hearing loss.

Come Armed With Solutions

The most important part of this discussion is going to be what to do next. Let your loved one know that hearing loss isn’t the end of the world. There are plenty of tools available to help, such as hearing aids. Much more sleek and modern hearing aids are now 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. Have an ear exam to rule out things like ear wax build up and medication that might be causing the issue. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.

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