Hearing Health Blog

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

If you realize someone you love has hearing loss what should be done. Usually, people who have gradual loss of hearing don’t realize it so that makes it a hard subject to approach. No one is helped by neglecting this frustrating problem. 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 suggestions.

Learn More so You Can Discuss it Better

First off, you need to comprehend what is happening yourself so you can describe it. When you grow older your risk of suffering from hearing loss increases. About one in every three people have some degree of hearing loss by the time they reach the age of 74 and greater than half suffer from it after they reach the age of 75.

The technical name for this form of ear damage is presbycusis. The effect is gradual and generally affects both ears equally. This hearing loss probably started years before it was detected.

Persbyscusis occurs for many reasons. Simply put, decades of listening to sound takes its toll on the delicate mechanism of the inner ear, particularly the tiny hair cells. Electrical messages are produced that go to the brain. What you know as sound is actually a message that is received and then translated by the brain. Hearing is impossible without those little hairs.

The following chronic health problems can also play a role:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

Hearing is impaired and the ear can be injured by each one of these.

Set a Date

The place where you choose to have a talk with your loved one is just as important as what you say. Scheduling something so you can have a talk is your best bet. Select a setting that is quiet and ensures you won’t be interrupted. Bringing literature on the topic can be quite helpful. For instance, the doctor might have a brochure that clarifies presbycusis.

Let’s Discuss the Whys

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

You will have to tell them how you know they have hearing loss and you will need to be specific.

Mention that you need to constantly repeat 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

Once you have said what needs to be said, be prepared to sit back and listen. Your family member might have noticed some changes and may have other concern but doesn’t know what to do. So that you can help them come to a realization concerning their hearing loss, ask questions that motivate them to keep talking.

Talk About the Support System

Getting past the fear that comes with hearing loss is going to be the greatest obstacle. Many people feel isolated with their condition and don’t recognize they have family and friends who will be there for them. Talk to them about others in the family that have had similar experiences and how they found ways to live with hearing loss.

Be Prepared to Offer Solutions

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

Lastly, recommend 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 might be causing your problem by getting an ear examination. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.

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.
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