It’s Difficult to Determine What to do About A Loved One With Hearing Loss

Husband talking to his wife about her hearing loss and how to get help.

What is the best thing you can do when you recognize that a loved one is suffering from hearing loss? Hearing loss often goes overlooked by those who have it and that makes it even more difficult to bring up. No one is helped by ignoring this frustrating issue. Your loved one’s life will be bettered by the choices you make now so don’t wait to find a way to discuss it. Think about these strategies to help get you there.

Learn More so You Can Explain it Better

First and foremost, you should understand what is taking place yourself so you are able to explain it. As people grow older, the chances of loss of hearing increase for them. About one in every three people have some level of hearing loss by the time they are 74 and greater than half have it after they reach the age of 75.

Presbycusis is the medical term for this kind of ear damage. It typically occurs in both ears equally, and the effect is gradual. Years before anyone detected it, it’s likely that this person started losing their hearing.

Persbyscusis occurs for numerous reasons. Basically, many years of listening to sound eventually breaks down the fragile mechanism of the inner ear, specifically the tiny hair cells. Electrical messages are generated which go to the brain. The brain receives the signals and translates them into what you know as sound. Hearing is impossible without those little hairs.

The impact of chronic illnesses like:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

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. The best option is to set something up so the two of you can get together and talk. To make sure you won’t be interrupted, select a quiet venue. If you have any literature on the subject matter, you should bring that also. For example, the doctor might have a brochure that explains presbycusis.

Let’s Discuss the Whys

Expect this person will be a little defensive. Hearing loss is a delicate topic because it is associated with growing old. Getting older is a difficult thing to accept. Poor hearing might challenge the elderly’s belief that they are in control of their daily lives.

You will have to tell them why you think they have hearing loss and you will need to be specific.

Mention that you need to constantly repeat yourself during conversations, too. Keep the talk casual and don’t make it sound like you are stressing. Be patient and sympathetic as you put everything into perspective.

Be Prepared to Listen

Be ready to sit back and listen once you have said what needs to be said. Your family member might have noticed some changes and may have other worries but doesn’t know what they should do. Ask questions that will encourage this person to continue talking about what they’re going through to help make it real to them.

Let Them Know They Have a Support System

Hearing loss comes with a lot of fear and that can be hard to get past. Many people feel on their own with their problem and don’t realize they have family and friends on the other side. Remind them of how other family members have discovered a way to cope with the same issue.

Come Armed With Solutions

What to do next is going to 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 plenty of tools available to help, such as hearing aids. 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.

Going to the doctor is step one. Some hearing loss goes away. Have an ear examination to rule out things such as ear wax build up and medication that might be causing the problem. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.

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