Explaining Hearing Loss to Your Loved Ones
Since hearing loss happens gradually, it isn’t always apparent to the person who has it. If you have noticed that your loved one seems to be having a change in their hearing, it is essential to talk to them about it.
In America, about 30 million people aged 12 and older have a hearing loss of some level. The likelihood of hearing loss increases as we age; around 30% of those ages 70 and older have hearing loss. Hearing loss does affect any age group, though – and there are different severities and causes.
When talking to loved ones about hearing loss, it is vital that you do it with care and understanding and be prepared to support them.
Before jumping into a conversation about hearing loss, make sure that you have listened and learned in advance. If you think your loved one has hearing loss, start paying attention to how often they miss words. Do they need to turn the TV or radio up often?
Have they withdrawn from conversations, or perhaps if there is more than one noise in the background, they can’t seem to concentrate? When you have other friends or family that are around your loved one often, ask them if they have noticed anything.
This can help you get an overview of the situation, so when you approach the conversation, you will be better prepared.
Approach the subject with care and delicacy since not everyone is prepared to accept that they might have hearing loss. Talk to them about if they have noticed anything with their hearing, is there anything that they have had an issue with.
During the conversation, it is a great idea to mention that to get the best information about their hearing; they should head to an audiologist for a chat.
Not all people with hearing loss are willing to accept that hearing loss can have more of an impact than just missing a few words in conversations. Explain that there are many studies that show hearing loss to be a leading cause of memory loss and difficulty. Anxiety and depression are also closely linked with hearing loss too.
Have a conversation that tells them all the benefits of hearing tests and perhaps that a hearing aid might be a terrific option.
Hearing Aid Conversations
Although an audiologist will be able to explain everything to your loved one, it is a good idea to do some research in advance. Many people still have the image of large plastic hearing aids, but that couldn’t be further from the truth now.
Modern hearing aids come in a range of styles, including ones that are barely visible. Many hearing aids have Bluetooth functionality and multiple other functions, too – like mobile apps.
An in-the-canal and invisible-in-canal hearing aids are sleeker and more discreet than ever if this is something that your loved one is worried about.
You can book a conversation with an audiologist to get more information.
Set an Example
If the loved one who appears to be having hearing issues is younger, then it can be a good idea to set an example and get a hearing test too. You can talk to the audiologist about what is going on, and they will be able to discuss how to tackle this. By setting an example, you show that there is nothing to be worried about and that getting your hearing tested is a simple process.
You can’t put a price on the ability to hear, and it is the cost of hearing aids that sometimes give people pause for thought. However, there are so many variations that come in a range of prices too.
An audiologist will be able to talk you through all the options, from the best-basic one for your loved one or the high-end ones. There are often payment plans available to help with spreading the cost of the hearing. It is also possible that some insurance plans will cover hearing aids – so many sure you explore all avenues.
Keep in mind that a hearing aid is worth the investment when faced with possible other issues such as early-onset dementia, anxiety, depression and the impact this can have in the workplace or social situations.
When it comes to discussing hearing loss with your loved ones, it is crucial that you have the conversation as soon as possible. And, when you need one, you can find an audiologist at Atlantic Audiology, make an appointment or give us a call at: (401) 262-0170