Watching sports with Ted is extremely difficult. Paying attention to the game is impossible because the volume is cranked up so loud that the walls rattle. The announcer’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the earsplitting roar of the crowd.
It isn’t pleasant. But for Ted, the volume is normal. Everything has to be at max volume in order for him to hear it, making it pretty apparent that it’s time to think about hearing aids. How to talk to him about it is the problem. His sensitivity about the topic makes what should be a straightforward conversation much more difficult.
The following are several tips that could help.
Suggest a Simple Exam
Ted has to find out more about his hearing from an expert. He might not believe other people when they inform him he needs a hearing aid. In that situation, the strategy will be convincing Ted (or anyone like him) to come see us.
One of the following tactics may help you do that:
- Recommend the two of you go together for back-to-back screenings. This can make starting the dialogue easier. It’s possible you’ll discover that you’ve experienced some hearing loss, too (it could depend on how long you’ve been exposed to a high-volume noise).
- Attempt to make him feel more at ease by letting him know that it’s just a simple screening. In the vast majority of cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. His hearing will be broken down by frequency on an audiogram. The significance of the results can then be clarified by us.
Comment on Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss takes place slowly, often advancing so slowly it’s not noticeable. When this happens, you may acquire certain behaviors without realizing it. By focusing your discussion on those behaviors, you can subtly (or not so subtly) hint that Ted (or someone like him) needs a hearing aid.
Try something like the following:
- You could tell him your family has noticed he’s been having a difficult time hearing. Perhaps that’s why fewer individuals are going to his home to watch the Big Game each year, they have a difficult time coping with the loud television.
- Mention that you’ve noticed how often you’re “translating” for him. Here’s a hypothetical example: your friend says something at dinner, Ted doesn’t hear or understand it, and you need to repeat the sentence to Ted because you’re closer to him.
- Remind Him that he’s not talking on the phone as much as he used to because he has a difficult time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
When you have these discussions focusing on these behaviors, not the condition, will be the goal. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, point out how his hearing loss impacts those around him.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
In some cases, reluctance to wearing hearing aids comes from outdated (but understandable) impressions of what hearing aids do and how they impact one’s personal appearance. It may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology employed by contemporary hearing aids.
The following are some examples:
- Usually, contemporary hearing aids are so small you can’t even notice them. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They aren’t the big and bulky units of the past. Most people will probably never detect you’re wearing them.
- The technology of modern hearing aids is very advanced. Thanks to connectivity, for example, your hearing aids will pair seamlessly with your phone or even your television speakers. This delivers amplified volumes without noise or feedback.
- Some hearing aids have extra features, such as the ability to translate in real-time or track important biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
Hearing aids, for many individuals, are an ideal extension to their other smart technology. In this modern world, hearing aids are extremely useful and will help you enjoy activities such as live streaming.
Promote The Long-Term Benefits
Lastly, it’s worth taking time to mention the long-term advantages of hearing aids, which have been shown to help people keep (or recover) their cognitive faculties. To put it bluntly, hearing is crucial to a person’s cognitive health.
The sooner you treat your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep in the long run. When you have hearing impairment, your ears have a hard time processing specific wavelengths and hearing aids are calibrated to fill in those missing frequencies. Simply turning your television volume up is no substitute for this valuable technology.
Getting treatment as soon as you start noticing hearing loss can help save your hearing, and understanding that will help persuade people like Ted to seek help.