Watching sports with Ted is incredibly frustrating. Enjoying the game is impossible because the volume is turned up so loud that the walls shake. The announcer’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the deafening thunder of the crowd.
It isn’t pleasant. But the volume seems fine for Ted. He needs the TV to be incredibly loud so he can hear it, which makes it rather obvious he needs a hearing aid. How to talk to him about it is the problem. It should be a straightforward conversation, but he seems excessively sensitive about the topic.
These tips are a good place to begin.
Recommend a Basic Screening
Ted needs a specialist to educate him about his hearing. He might not believe other people when they inform him he needs a hearing aid. In that situation, the trick will be getting Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
You may be able to do that by making use of one of the following tactics:
- Emphasize that he’ll only be undergoing a simple assessment. In the vast majority of cases, hearing screenings are fast and easy. Ted will receive his results on an audiogram, which will break down his hearing by frequency. The meaning of the results can then be clarified by us.
- Recommend that both of you go together for back-to-back assessments. This is a helpful way to discuss a new medical situation. It’s possible you’ll learn that you’ve experienced some hearing loss, too (depending on how long you’ve been exposed to loud sound).
Talk About Behaviors Connected To Hearing Loss
Hearing loss occurs slowly, often progressing so slowly it’s not noticeable. When this happens, you might pick up certain behaviors without realizing it. You can hint in a subtle way that Ted needs a hearing aid by focusing on these behaviors.
Try some of these strategies:
- Letting him know that his family has noticed him straining to hear. Maybe that’s why fewer people are going to his house to watch the Big Game each year, they have a hard time coping with the loud television.
- Make him aware that he’s not talking on the phone as much as he once did because he has a difficult time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
- Point out that you’ve noticed how frequently you’re “translating” for him. Here’s a hypothetical example: someone is talking to Ted but you’re closer and Ted needs you to constantly repeat what was said because he can’t understand them.
When you have these talks 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.
Emphasize The Technology in Modern Hearing Aids
Sometimes, reluctance to using hearing aids comes from outdated (but understandable) notions of what hearing aids do and how they influence one’s personal appearance. It may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology employed by contemporary hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- Modern hearing aids are typically extremely small and almost totally imperceptible to the naked eye. Not only that, modern hearing aids are amazingly comfortable for the wearer. They aren’t the big and bulky units they used to be. Most people will probably never detect you’re wearing them.
- Some hearing aids have added features, like the ability to translate in real-time or track key biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- Modern hearing aids carry a huge amount of technology. Your hearing aid will connect wirelessly with your phone, TV, and other smart devices by way of Bluetooth® connectivity. With this technology, the volume of your devices will be increased without noise and feedback.
Hearing aids, for many people, are an ideal extension to their other smart technology. Modern hearing aids are extremely useful pieces of technology that allow you to enjoy live streaming.
Promote The Long-Term Benefits
Finally, take some time to point out the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. To put it bluntly, hearing is critical to a person’s cognitive health.
You will keep more of your hearing undamaged in the long run if you manage your hearing loss as soon as possible. Hearing aids are calibrated specifically to fill in the sound wavelengths your ears have a hard time discerning. When you simply turn the volume up you don’t fill in the particular frequencies that are missing.
Recognizing that your hearing can be preserved by getting treatment when you first observe signs of hearing loss will help people like Ted feel comfortable seeking the help they need.