Perhaps you have noticed that someone close to you seems to have to ask you to repeat themselves more often than not. Maybe you’ve noticed they seem distant or not connected in a group setting or even one on one conversation. This could be a friend, co-worker, a family member or even your significant other. No matter who it is, there is a good chance they are suffering from hearing loss.
Denial around Admitting Hearing Loss
The tricky thing about hearing loss is that it often does not happen overnight. Hearing loss develops gradually so by the time you may notice someone dealing with hearing loss it has often gotten to a desperate state. Still many are resistant to admit they have a hearing loss because of stigmas around hearing loss and old age. On average, it takes the average person seven to ten years from realizing they have hearing loss before they seek treatment for hearing loss. It’s hard to admit that you have a problem but dealing with the problem can actually help your loved ones, friends and co-workers engage in life like a much younger person. Nothing can make a person seem older than being disconnected from important conversations regularly.
Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss if untreated can have negative effects on so many aspects of your life including physical health, mental health and the quality of relationships. The best treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids, which amplify the sounds around you and deliver them directly to your ears. If you know the symptoms of hearing loss you have more information to encourage someone close to you to seek treatment. Some of the most common telltale signs of hearing loss include:
- turns up the TV or radio so loud and does not seem to notice
- Frequently ask you or others to repeat what was said
- Complains that others are mumbling or voices sound muffled
- Seems to have a difficult time following a conversation when there is more than one person speaking
- Misses the doorbell or phone ringing
- Has a difficult time understanding over the phone
- Can’t hear what you say when you are not facing
- Seems to withdraw from social situations
- Has difficulty hearing in public spaces
If your loved one has exhibited any of these symptoms it is a very caring act to suggest that they get a hearing test to diagnose the extent and manner of their hearing loss. However convincing a loved one to admit hearing loss must be done in a caring intentional way to avoid, denial and resentment that often accompanies suggestions of hearing loss.
Do Your Research
When approaching someone to suggest that they have their hearing checked make sure to be prepared. There is a lot of information out there on the dangers of untreated hearing loss including danger to employment, mental health, physical health, and negative impacts on relationships. The more information you can share with them the easier it can be to convince them of the dangers of leaving their hearing loss untreated.
The Right Time and Place
When someone is dealing with hearing loss it is important to keep in mind the best environment for them to listen successfully. A well-lit room will make it easy to see visual cues like body language and lip reading that they may rely on to supplement their lost hearing. It is also important to make sure the environment is quiet. Choose a private spot instead of a public space prone to other noises and interruptions. Make sure there is no distracting background noise like a lawn mower outside or background music.
Talk From Your Own Experience
Make sure they don’t feel accused, as this will only create defensive behavior. Speak from specific examples that illuminate your concern.
Remember to listen
It is very probable that your loved one has noticed a change in their hearing and has been reluctant to admit it. Let them have time to discuss their feelings on the topic and gently urge them to seek out a hearing test. Once they deal with their hearing loss you all can get back to living a life together full of rich sounds and conversation.
When you’re ready to schedule a hearing test, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more!