A person you love has hearing loss, now what should you do? Normally, people who suffer from gradual hearing loss don’t recognize it so that makes it a difficult subject to talk about. No one is helped by neglecting this frustrating issue. Find a way to discuss it with your loved one now so that their life can be bettered. Think about these strategies to help get you there.
Study More so You Can Explain it Better
You need to comprehend the problem first before you are able to explain it. As people get older, the chances of hearing loss increase for them. About one person out of every three suffer from some level of hearing loss by the time they reach the age of 74 and greater than half have it after the age of 75.
This kind of ear damage is called presbycusis. It generally happens in both ears equally, and the effect is gradual. It’s likely that this person started losing some hearing years before anybody recognized it.
There are lots of reasons presbycusis happens. The simplest reason for age-related hearing loss is that decades of sound eventually breaks down delicate mechanisms of the ear, specifically the little hair cells. These hair cells generate electrical messages that go to the brain. The brain receives the signals and translates them into what you know as sound. Hearing is not possible without those little hairs.
The impact of chronic illnesses like:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
All of these can injure the ear and impair the hearing.
Make a Date
Where you decide to talk to your loved one is just as important as what you say. The best option is to set something up so you both can meet and have a talk. It’s important not to be disturbed so select a private spot. Bringing literature on the subject can be quite helpful. Presbycusis may be explained in a brochure that you can get from a doctor, for example.
Talk About the Whys
Expect this person to be a little defensive. Because it is associated with aging, hearing loss can be a sensitive subject. Getting older is a tough thing to acknowledge. Older people struggle to stay in control of their everyday lives and they might think poor hearing challenges that freedom.
Be prepared to provide particulars as to how you know they have some hearing problems.
They will need to be reminded how often they say “what did you say?” when people are talking to them. Keep the talk casual and don’t make it sound like you are stressing. As you comprehend and put everything into perspective, be patient.
Now it’s Time to Listen
After you have said what you need to, be prepared to settle-back and listen. Your family member might have noticed some changes and could have other concern but doesn’t know what to do. So that you can help them come to a realization about their hearing loss, ask questions that motivate them to keep talking.
Let Them Know They Have a Support System
Getting past the fear that comes with hearing loss is going to be the biggest obstacle. Many people feel isolated with their condition 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 discovered ways to live with hearing loss.
What to do next will be the most crucial part of the talk. Hearing loss is not the end of the world so let your loved one know that. There are a lot of available tools including hearing aids which can be helpful. Much more sleek and modern hearing aids are currently 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.
Seeing a doctor is step one. Some hearing loss goes away. Have an ear examination to rule out things like ear wax build up and medication that might be causing the problem. Then the doctor can schedule a hearing test, and you can go from there.