If you realize someone you love is suffering from hearing loss what should be done. Usually, people who suffer from gradual hearing loss don’t recognize it so that makes it a hard subject to approach. No one is helped by disregarding this frustrating problem. The things you do now will better the lives of your parent, spouse, sibling or friend and it begins with discovering a way to discuss it. To help get you there, think about these suggestions.
Do the Research
You should comprehend the issue first before you are able to explain it. As people grow older, the risk of hearing loss increase for them. About one in every three people have some degree of hearing reduction by the time they reach the age of 74 and more than half have it after they reach the age of 75.
This form of ear damage is called presbycusis. The effect is gradual and normally affects both ears similarly. This hearing loss most likely started years before it was noticed.
Persbyscusis happens for many reasons. To put it simply, decades of hearing sound eventually breaks down the fragile mechanism of the inner ear, especially the tiny hair cells. Electrical signals 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.
The impact of chronic illnesses like:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
All of these can injure the ear and impair the hearing.
Make a Date
What you say to your loved one is important but it’s also important where you have the conversation. The best option is to set something up so the two of you can meet and have a talk. It’s important not to be disturbed so go with a private venue. Bringing literature on the subject is also very helpful. For example, the doctor might have a brochure that clarifies presbycusis.
Talk About the Whys
Expect this person to be a little defensive. Because it is related to aging, loss of hearing can be a sensitive matter. It’s difficult to accept that you are growing older. Older people struggle to stay in control of their everyday lives and they might think poor hearing challenges that freedom.
You will have to tell them how you know they have hearing loss and you will have to be specific.
Discuss that you need to keep repeating yourself while having conversations, too. Don’t make it seem like you’re complaining, keep it casual. Be patient and understanding as you put everything into perspective.
Sit Back and Listen
Be prepared to sit back and listen after you have said what you need to say. Your family member may express concerns or say they have recognized some changes but didn’t know what they should do. Ask questions that can motivate this person to keep talking about what they’re going through to help make it real to them.
Talk About the Support System
Hearing loss comes with a lot of fear and that could be hard to get past. Many people feel on their own with their condition and don’t understand they have family and friends on the other side. Remind them of how other family members have found ways to cope with the same problem.
Be Prepared to Offer Solutions
What to do next will 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 plenty of tools available to help, including 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. Show them some literature on a computer or brochure detailing the different devices that are available.
Seeing a doctor is step one. Some hearing loss goes away. Rule out earwax build up or medication side effects that could be causing your issue by getting an ear examination. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.