If you have noticed that a loved one might be developing hearing loss, it can be hard to know exactly what to do next. You’ll want to do the right thing so that they can address the hearing loss quickly before it becomes an issue. However, broaching the subject isn’t always easy, especially if your loved one hasn’t noticed the hearing loss themselves (they can often be the last person to realize they have hearing loss) or if they are reluctant to do anything about it.
Why might someone not want to deal with their hearing loss, whether they have noticed that it is happening? It’s due to the various taboos linked to hearing loss, not least of which is aging. A loved one might be less open to getting help from a dedicated audiologist if they think it will make them seem old. Yet the sooner hearing loss is looked into by an expert, the sooner things can go back to normal, in many cases at least.
Signs of hearing loss
Before we can look at how to positively encourage a loved one to take a hearing test, just what are the signs of hearing loss that you – and they – should be looking out for? One problem, and one that is often noticed first if you don’t live with the person but regularly speak to them on the phone, is that they cannot hear entire phone-based conversations. Another issue is that they can’t manage when more than one person is talking at once; they can’t follow either conversation.
Or how about the TV? Do they have the volume loud? What do they say when someone comments on the volume? Are they happy to turn the set down, or do they need it loud to hear it properly?
What? This could be a word you frequently hear from those with hearing loss. During any kind of conversation, either on the phone or in person, if they keep saying ‘what’ or ask you to repeat yourself, their hearing may be starting to reduce.
If any of these signs of hearing loss are present, it’s essential to encourage your loved one to test to precisely determine what is happening with their hearing. Here are some ways to do it.
Choose the right time and place
Hearing loss can be a sensitive issue, so choosing the right time and place to discuss it and suggest that your loved one see an audiologist is vital. Although you might want to talk about it as soon as you notice an issue, this can be a mistake, and it might make your loved one even more reluctant to seek help because they feel self-conscious about it.
Instead, it’s best to give it a little time to evaluate the situation and decide on the best set of circumstances to bring it up. The best place will be a quiet one; if you are trying to talk about hearing loss and your loved one can’t hear you, it might make them even more concerned.
Talk about yourself
Although you are doing what you can to help your loved one with their hearing loss, it can be useful to let them know how their loss of hearing impacts your life. Sometimes, even if they don’t want to take the next step for themselves, they might want to do it for someone else.
However, don’t be judgmental or angry when having this conversation. Don’t blame them. Rather than telling them that you hate having to repeat yourself all the time or that they’re missing out on what you’re saying to them, try being gentler. Focus on what affects you, and you might get a more positive response from your loved one.
After you have talked about what you think of their potential hearing loss, give them a chance to talk too. Ask them if they want to discuss anything or if they have an opinion. They might not have noticed any hearing impairment until you mentioned it, but now they are slowly becoming more aware of it.
Listen to what they have to say. They might also have their own concerns but be nervous about seeking help from an audiologist, especially if they have never had a hearing test before.
Take a test
After talking things through and listening to your loved one, it may be that you’ve managed to encourage them to take a test. However, another idea could work if they are still unsure about going to an expert; you can take a test.
This can be the perfect way to help someone nervous about taking a hearing test to gain more confidence. If you take a test at the same time as them, you’ll be able to talk about your experience, and it shows that you have faith in how these tests work. This can often be the catalyst that convinces someone to try it for themselves.
Book your test today
If your loved one needs to have a hearing test, it’s an excellent idea to book one as soon as possible. At Allison Audiology & Hearing Aid Center, PC, we are highly skilled and experienced when it comes to these tests, and we can offer plenty of guidance. Book your test today by calling 713-827-1767 (Houston).