How Can You Approach a Loved One About Their Loss Of Hearing?

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

If you discover someone you love is suffering from hearing loss what should be done. It’s not an easy thing to talk about because often those who are gradually losing their hearing don’t recognize it. It’s a frustrating problem for everyone and ignoring it isn’t the way to go. Find a way to discuss it with your loved one as soon as possible so that their life can be bettered. Consider these strategies to help get you there.

Do the Research

First off, you should comprehend what is happening yourself so you are able to explain it. When you get older your chance of being affected by hearing loss increases. About one person out of every three suffer from some degree of hearing loss by the time they reach the age of 74 and more than half have it after they reach the age of 75.

Presbycusis is the medical name for this kind of ear damage. The effect is gradual and usually affects both ears equally. Years before anyone noticed, it’s probable that this person started losing their hearing.

There are many reasons why presbycusis occurs. To put it simply, decades of listening to sound takes its toll on the fragile mechanism of the inner ear, especially the tiny hair cells. Electrical messages are generated which go to the brain. What you know as sound is actually a message that is received and then translated by the brain. Those hairs are an essential element of hearing.

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

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure

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

Make a Date

What you say to your loved one is important but it’s equally important where you have the discussion. The best choice is to schedule something so you both can get together and have a talk. You don’t want to be interrupted so pick a private location. Bringing written material on the subject can be quite helpful. Presbycusis might be explained in a brochure that you can get from a doctor, as an example.

Let’s Discuss the Whys

Expect this person to be a little defensive. Hearing loss is a sensitive topic because it is related to growing old. It’s tough to acknowledge that you are getting older. Senior citizens fight to stay in control of their daily lives and they might believe poor hearing challenges that freedom.

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

They will need to be reminded how often they say “what did you say?” when people talk to them. Keep the discussion casual and don’t make it sound like you are complaining. As you understand and put everything into perspective, be patient.

Now it’s Time to Listen

Once you have said what you need to, be ready to settle-back and listen. Your family member might have noticed some changes and may have other worries but doesn’t know what to do. So that you can help them come to a realization concerning their hearing loss, ask questions that motivate them to keep talking.

Let Them Know They Have a Support System

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

Come Armed With Solutions

What to do next will be the most important part of the conversation. Make your loved one aware that hearing loss is not the end of the world. There are plenty of tools available to help, such as hearing aids. Today’s hearing aids are modern and sleek. They come in many sizes and shapes and with features that improve the quality of life. If you can bring a tablet, use a computer or have some brochures that show the different devices which are now available.

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

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