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 hard subject to approach. Ignoring this difficult problem is not helpful for anyone involved. The things you do now will improve the lives of your parent, spouse, sibling or friend and it begins with finding a way to discuss it. To help get you there, think about these suggestions.
Do the Research
You need to understand the problem first before you are able to clarify it. The risks of hearing loss increase as people get older. About one person out of every three have some level of hearing reduction by the time they reach the age of 74 and greater than half have it after the age of 75.
The technical name for this type of ear damage is presbycusis. It usually occurs in both ears equally, and the effect is gradual. Years before anyone noticed, it’s probable that this person started losing their hearing.
Persbyscusis happens for numerous reasons. The most basic reason for age-related hearing loss is that many years of sound takes its toll on the delicate mechanisms of the ear, especially the tiny hair cells. These hair cells produce electrical messages that go to the brain. The brain gets the message and translates them into what you know as sound. Those hairs are an essential element of hearing.
Chronic illnesses can play a role, as well, such as:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
Hearing is reduced and the ear can be hurt by all of these.
Set a Date
It’s not only important what you say but also where you choose to say it. The best choice is to schedule something so the two of you can meet and talk. Find a venue that is quiet and ensures you won’t be interrupted. Bringing literature on the subject can be very helpful. For instance, the doctor may have a brochure that describes presbycusis.
Talk About the Whys
The reaction you can expect right away is for the person to be defensive. Loss of hearing is a delicate topic because it is related to growing old. Getting older is a tough thing to accept. Poor hearing may challenge the elderly’s idea that they are in control of their daily lives.
You will have to tell them how you know they have hearing loss and you will need to be specific.
Remind them how often they ask you and others to repeat what they said. Keep the discussion casual and don’t make it sound like you are stressing. As you comprehend and put everything into perspective, be patient.
Sit Back and Listen
After you have said what you need to, be prepared to sit back and listen. Your family member might share concerns or say they have noticed some changes but didn’t know what they should do. Ask questions that will motivate this person to keep talking about their experience to help make it real to them.
Talk About the Support System
Getting past the fear that comes with hearing loss is going to be the biggest obstacle. Many people don’t recognize that they have friends and family on their side and feel alone with their problem. Remind them of how other family members have discovered a way to deal with the same issue.
Come Armed With Solutions
The most crucial part of this talk is going to be what to do next. Make your loved one aware that hearing loss isn’t the end of the world. There are lots of tools available to help, such as hearing aids. Much more sleek and modern hearing aids are now 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 the first step. Not all hearing loss lasts forever. Rule out earwax build up or medication side effects that may be causing your issue by getting an ear examination. After that the doctor can schedule a hearing test, and you can go from there.