What is the best thing you can do when you recognize that a loved one is suffering from hearing loss? Normally, people who suffer from slow hearing loss don’t recognize it so that makes it a difficult subject to approach. Ignoring this frustrating problem is not helpful for anyone involved. Find a way to discuss it with your loved one now so that their life can be improved. Consider these tips to help get you there.
If You Want to be Able to Explain it Better, do The Research
Firstly, you should comprehend what is going on yourself so you can describe it. The chances of hearing loss become greater as people get older. About one in every three people suffer from some degree of hearing loss by the time they are 74 and greater than half have it after the age of 75.
This form of ear damage is called presbycusis. It typically occurs in both ears equally, and the effect is gradual. This hearing loss probably began years before it was noticed.
Persbyscusis occurs for several reasons. The most basic reason for age-related hearing loss is that decades of sound eventually breaks down delicate mechanisms of the ear, especially the little hair cells. The brain gets electrical messages that are created by these little hair cells. What you know as sound is actually a signal that is received and then translated by the brain. Hearing is impossible without those little hairs.
The following chronic health problems can also play a role:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
All of these can injure the ear and reduce hearing.
Set a Date
It’s not only important what you say but also where you decide to say it. Setting something up so you can have a talk is the best bet. It’s important not to be disturbed so decide on a quiet spot. Bring with you whatever written material you can on the subject too. For example, the doctor may have a brochure that explains presbycusis.
Talk About the Whys
The reaction you can expect at first is for the person to be defensive. Because it is related to aging, loss of hearing can be a sensitive subject. Growing older is a hard thing to acknowledge. Poor hearing might 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.
Mention that you need to keep repeating yourself while having conversations, too. Don’t make it seem like you’re complaining, keep it casual. As you understand and put everything into perspective, be patient.
Be Prepared to Listen
Be ready to sit back and listen after you have said what you need to say. Your family member might have noticed some changes and could have other worries but doesn’t know what to do. Ask questions that can encourage 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 greatest obstacle. Many people don’t realize that they have friends and family on their side and feel isolated with their condition. Remind them of how other family members have found a way to deal with the same issue.
The most crucial part of this conversation is going to be what to do next. Hearing loss is not the end of the world so let your loved one know that. There are a lot of available tools such as hearing aids which can be helpful. 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 is temporary. Rule out earwax build up or medication side effects that might be causing your problem by getting an ear examination. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.