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. Normally, people who suffer from slow hearing loss don’t recognize it so that makes it a hard subject to talk about. No one is benefited by neglecting this frustrating problem. The things you do now will improve the lives of your parent, spouse, sibling or friend and it starts with finding a way to talk about it. Think about these suggestions to help get you there.

Learn More so You Can Discuss it Better

You should understand the problem first before you are able to clarify it. When you get older your chance of suffering from hearing loss increases. About one in every three people suffer from some amount 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 term for this type of ear damage is presbycusis. The effect is gradual and generally affects both ears equally. Most likely this person began losing some hearing years before anyone recognized it.

Persbyscusis happens for several reasons. The most basic explanation for age-related hearing loss is that many years of sound takes its toll on the delicate mechanisms of the ear, particularly the little hair cells. Electrical messages are generated that go to the brain. What you know as sound is actually a signal that is received and then translated by the brain. Those hairs are an essential element of hearing.

Chronic illnesses can play a role, as well, such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

Hearing is impaired and the ear can be hurt by all of these.

Make a Date

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 conversation is your best bet. It’s important not to be interrupted so choose a private spot. Bringing written material on the topic is also quite helpful. Presbycusis might be discussed in a brochure that you can obtain from a doctor, for example.

Let’s Discuss the Whys

Expect this person to be a little defensive. Because it is associated with aging, hearing loss can be a delicate matter. It’s tough to accept that you are getting older. Poor hearing may challenge the elderly’s idea that they are in control of their day-to-day lives.

Be prepared to provide particulars as to how you know they have some hearing problems.

They will have to be reminded how often they say “what did you say?” when people are talking to them. Don’t make it sound like you’re complaining, keep it casual. As you understand and put everything into perspective, be patient.

Be Prepared to Listen

Be prepared to sit back and listen after you have said what you need to say. Your family member might share concerns or say they have noticed some changes but were unsure what to do. In order to help them come to a realization about 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 toughest challenge. Many people feel on their own with their condition and don’t recognize they have family and friends on the other side. Remind them of how other family members have discovered ways to deal with the same issue.

Bring Solutions

What to do next is going to be the most crucial part of the conversation. Hearing loss is not the end of the world so let your loved one know that. There are a lot of available tools such as hearing aids which can be helpful. Today’s hearing aids are modern and sleek. They come with features that improve the quality of life and come in all shapes and sizes. Show them some literature on a computer or brochure detailing the different devices that are available.

Finally, suggest that the first place to start is at the doctor’s office. Not all hearing loss is permanent. Get an ear exam to rule out things such as ear wax build up and medication that could be causing the problem. Then the doctor can schedule a hearing test, and you can go from there.

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