Encouraging someone who has hearing loss to take action to improve their hearing, can sometimes be a challenge.
For some people, accepting they have a hearing loss isn’t easy. We’ve all known loved ones or family friends who clearly struggle to hear, yet resist doing something about their hearing loss.
The obvious signs of hearing loss
If you live with a person who has an untreated hearing loss the signs are clear:
- Turning up the TV or radio too loud
- Asking people to repeat themselves
- Complaining that other people are ‘always mumbling’
- Having trouble hearing people on the phone
- Missing parts of the conversation, especially if they’re not facing the speaker
- A tendency to avoid noisy places where it’s hard to hear the conversation (like cafes and restaurants)
Why do people avoid dealing with their hearing loss?
There are many different causes of hearing loss. It’s often a gradual process. Over time, many people adjust to a quieter world.
Others simply refuse to acknowledge that their hearing is deteriorating. They may feel like their body is failing them and compensate by either withdrawing from social settings or constantly ask for people to repeat themselves.
For some people, it’s a cosmetic issue. They may not like the idea of wearing hearing aids, unaware that the latest hearing technology is now small and discreet.
Worrying about the cost of hearing aids can also stop people from doing something about their hearing.
This inability to address their hearing can be frustrating, especially for their partner or immediate family. If the person with a hearing loss is still working, their lack of hearing may also cause misunderstandings and mistakes in the workplace.
So how do you help your friend or loved one to take a hearing test and deal with their hearing loss?
Here are 7 tips for how you can encourage someone to deal tackle their hearing loss
- Be patient. Most people won’t respond well to nagging. Gently discuss how much easier it will be for them to join in on family and friend get-togethers if they can hear better.
- Try and understand why they’re resisting having a hearing test. Listen to their objections.
- Stop being their ears! It’s natural to want to support your loved one by speaking loudly or repeating the conversation they’ve missed. But this can wear you down and lead them to avoid taking action to resolve the lack of hearing.
- Educate yourself on the facts around hearing loss. Hearing loss can affect people’s physical and mental health. It’s associated with depression, memory loss, increased risk of dementia and loss of balance. Explain that you want the best for them and want them to stay healthy (and happy).
- Suggest that they try an online hearing test first. This can get them over the first hurdle and help them recognise that there actually is a hearing problem they need to deal with. In most cases, a hearing check is free.
- Discuss why having a regular hearing test is as important as other annual health checks.
- Seek recommendations about your local hearing care clinics. Offer to go with them to have their hearing checked. Your local hearing care clinician can discuss the options, including what hearing aids are available in their price range.
Encourage someone with hearing loss to take action today! When your friend or loved one is ready for a hearing check, get in touch. And if you have any questions about hearing health, please give us a call on 1300 970 558 or book in here.