In general, approaching the topic of hearing loss with a family member can sometimes make them feel uncomfortable. A gentle approach is the best way to start. You want to make sure you consider their point of view, as most people do not want to admit that they may have a problem hearing.
To talk more positively about this subject, consider mentioning the ways their life will change by addressing their hearing loss. Additional tips to help ease them into their hearing loss journey, include:
Asking them to go for a hearing exam
Seeing an audiologist is another way to coax them into a hearing aid. They can take a hearing test and the audiologist will be able to answer all of their questions. Make sure to offer to go with them, this could help them feel more comfortable with the reality they are experiencing. Audiologists offer all types of hearing aids no matter what the occupational or recreational use for it will be, they will be there to help find the right hearing aid for you.
Understanding all the styles
When they first hear about all the different types of hearing aids, they may be unsure how to select the right type or what would be best for them. This is something to consider researching yourself before bringing it up. After you do the research, you will be able to help them narrow down the types of hearing aids they are interested in. Some things to consider when deciding on a style are the degree of hearing loss, cosmetics, skin sensitivities, lifestyle and dexterity needs.
How will they want to wear them?
There are several varieties of hearing aids to choose from, with three main styles, including in the ear (ITE), in the canal (ITC) and behind the ear (BTE). Within these types, there are additional choices with small deviations, such as invisible in canal and completely in canal.
Your loved one’s audiologist will take into consideration the degree of hearing loss, as well as personal preferences, before making a recommendation. For someone that wants an easier-to-handle unit that can be equipped with numerous features, a BTE or ITE may fit the bill. While these varieties are slightly larger than a canal option, they are available in skin and hair tones to help make them more private.
On the other hand, someone looking for a more discreet option that provides a direct listening experience, may prefer a model worn in the canal. Because in the canal devices are smaller in nature, you will want to ensure that your loved one has no problem handling the unit or changing the batteries.
Impacts of untreated hearing loss
Untreated hearing loss is also a huge topic to consider approaching lightly. You want them to know that you care and you want to make sure you consider their feelings as well. Some of the most recent studies show that hearing loss can affect people socially, psychologically and have health effects as well. Here are some examples: negativity, tension, depression, withdrawal from social gatherings and reduced alertness which can increase the risk to personal safety.
Consider all of this, but share the benefits of hearing aids too. One of these benefits is the heart-wrenching experience of hearing their child’s or grandchild’s first words. Another is the relaxing natural feeling of hearing the sounds of nature, like the birds, singing.
Improve relationships and communication
Relationships are another common area where hearing loss causes problems, whether it’s with coworkers, friends or spouses. When hearing loss remains untreated, it can make it difficult to share personal connections with your loved ones because conversation can be difficult to follow. And having a loved one ask you to repeat yourself multiple times can lead to arguments and misunderstandings.
Getting a hearing aid will make listening in private and group scenarios much easier, as this device hones in on the sounds that are most important – speech. Additionally, these devices can be connected with other technology – like televisions and stereos – meaning you no longer have to listen to volumes that are too loud for individuals without hearing loss.
The team at The Hearing Doctors understand how challenging it can be to encourage your loved one to seek treatment for hearing loss. They are well-versed at working with individuals new to this world and provide the reassurance and assistance needed to find the best device for your loved one. Call us today at (630) 315-2899.