Watching sports with Ted is very difficult. Enjoying the game is impossible because the volume is turned up so loud that the walls shake. All you can hear is the thunder of the crowd hammering against your body, punctuated by the ear-shattering staccato of the commentator’s play-by-play calls.
It isn’t at all pleasant. But for Ted, the volume is normal. Everything needs to be at top volume in order for him to be able to hear it, making it pretty apparent that it’s time to think about hearing aids. You’re just not certain how to tell him that. It should be a straightforward conversation, but he seems overly sensitive about the topic.
The following are a few recommendations that might help.
You Can Suggest he Gets a Simple Hearing Test
Ted has to find out more about his hearing from an expert. He may not believe other people when they tell him he needs a hearing aid. If that’s the case, the trick will be getting Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
One of the following strategies might help you do that:
- Recommend that both of you go together for back-to-back assessments. This can make starting the conversation easier. It’s possible you’ll learn that you’ve experienced some hearing loss, as well (depending on how long you’ve been exposed to loud noise).
- Try making him feel more at ease by letting him know that it’s just a simple assessment. In the vast majority of cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. Ted will receive his results on an audiogram, which will break down his hearing by frequency. We can detail what the results mean.
Talk About Behaviors Linked To Hearing Loss
Hearing loss takes place slowly, often progressing so slowly it’s unnoticeable. Specific subconscious behaviors often develop when this occurs. By concentrating your discussion on those behaviors, you can subtly (or not so subtly) hint that Ted (or someone like him) needs a hearing aid.
Try some of these approaches:
- Make him aware that he’s not using the phone as much as he once did because he has a hard time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
- Point out instances where you need to translate what somebody said. It might happen like this: your friend says something at dinner, Ted doesn’t hear or understand it, and you need to repeat the sentence to Ted because you’re closer to him.
- You could tell him the family has observed he’s been having a difficult time hearing. Maybe that’s why fewer people are going to his home to watch the Big Game each year, they have a tough time coping with the loud television.
When you have these discussions focusing on these behaviors, not the disorder, will be the objective. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing loss, point out how his hearing loss impacts those around him.
Highlight The Technology in Modern Hearing Aids
In some cases, reticence to using hearing aids comes from outdated (but understandable) notions of what hearing aids do and how they impact one’s personal appearance. It might not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology employed by contemporary hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- Modern hearing aids are typically incredibly small and almost entirely imperceptible to the naked eye. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They aren’t the big and bulky units they used to be. Most individuals will most likely never notice you’re wearing them.
- Some hearing aids have additional features, such as the ability to translate in real-time or track important biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- Modern hearing aids contain a huge amount of technology. Your hearing aid will connect wirelessly with your phone, TV, and other smart devices thanks to Bluetooth® connectivity. With this tech, the volume of your devices will be amplified without feedback and noise.
For many people, hearing aids feel like an extension of their smartphones or tablets. In this modern world, hearing aids are extremely practical and will help you enjoy activities such as live streaming.
Highlight The Long-Term Benefits
Finally, take the time to emphasize the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. To put it bluntly, hearing is essential to a person’s cognitive health.
The sooner you manage your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep over time. Hearing aids are calibrated specifically to fill in the sound wavelengths your ears have a difficult time discerning. Simply turning up your TV is no substitute for this valuable technology.
Understanding that your hearing can be preserved by getting treatment when you first observe signs of hearing loss will help people like Ted feel comfortable getting the help they need.