Watching sports with Ted is extremely frustrating. Paying attention to the game is impossible because the volume is cranked up so loud that the walls shake. The commentator’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the earsplitting roar of the crowd.
It’s not fun. But for Ted, the volume is normal. He needs the TV to be incredibly loud so he can hear it, which makes it pretty clear he needs a hearing aid. How to talk to him about it is the challenge. It should be a straightforward discussion, but he seems excessively sensitive about the topic.
These tips are a good place to begin.
Encourage a Simple Exam
Ted needs to find out more about his hearing from an expert. He may not trust other people when they tell him he needs a hearing aid. In that situation, the trick will be getting Ted (or anyone like him) to come see us.
One of the following tactics may help you do that:
- Suggest that both of you go together for back-to-back screenings. This is a helpful way to broach a new medical situation. It’s possible you’ll learn that you’ve experienced some hearing loss, as well (it may depend on how long you’ve been subjected to a high-volume sound).
- Stress that he’ll only be having a simple assessment. In the vast majority of cases, hearing screenings are fast and easy. His hearing will be categorized by frequency on an audiogram. The significance of the results can then be clarified by us.
Comment on Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss occurs slowly, often advancing so slowly it’s not noticeable. Certain subconscious behaviors frequently develop when this happens. By focusing your discussion on those behaviors, you can subtly (or not so subtly) hint that Ted (or somebody like him) needs a hearing aid.
Try some of these strategies:
- Point out instances where you need to translate what someone said. It may happen like this: somebody is talking to Ted but you’re closer and Ted needs you to keep repeating what was said because he can’t understand them.
- You could tell him your family has observed he’s been having a difficult time hearing. Each year it seems as if fewer and fewer people are going over to see the Big Game and that could be because the TV is so loud.
- Remind Him that he’s not talking on the phone as much as he used to because he has a hard time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
The goal during these conversations is to keep your discussion focused on these behaviors rather than the disorder. Instead of talking about how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, point out how his hearing loss effects those around him.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
In some instances, reticence to wearing hearing aids comes from antiquated (but understandable) notions of what hearing aids do and how they affect one’s personal appearance. It might not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology utilized by modern hearing aids.
The following are some examples:
- Typically, contemporary hearing aids are so small you can’t even see them. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They’re not bulky like they once were. They won’t even be noticed by most people.
- The technology of modern hearing aids is very advanced. Thanks to connectivity, for instance, your hearing aids will pair seamlessly with your phone or even your television speakers. This delivers amplified volumes without feedback or noise.
- Some hearing aids have added features, such as the ability to translate in real-time or track important biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
For many people, hearing aids feel like an extension of their smartphones or tablets. Modern hearing aids are extremely helpful pieces of technology that allow you to enjoy live streaming.
Highlight The Long-Term Benefits
Lastly, it’s worth taking time to point out the long-term benefits of hearing aids, which have been demonstrated to help people keep (or recover) mental equity. In other words, your brain health depends on you being capable of hearing clearly.
The sooner you manage your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep in the long run. When you have hearing impairment, your ears have a difficult time processing particular wavelengths and hearing aids are calibrated to fill in those missing frequencies. When you simply turn the volume up you don’t fill in the specific frequencies that are missing.
Getting treatment as soon as you begin experiencing hearing loss can help save your hearing, and understanding that will help convince people like Ted to seek help.