Watching sports with Ted is incredibly difficult. He has the volume turned up so loud the walls rattle, and you definitely can’t tune in to the game. The commentator’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the earsplitting thunder of the crowd.
It isn’t in any way pleasant. But for Ted, it’s a normal volume. He needs the TV to be incredibly loud so he can hear it, which makes it pretty obvious he needs a hearing aid. How to talk to him about it is the challenge. His sensitivity about the subject makes what should be a straightforward conversation much more challenging.
These tips are a good place to begin.
Recommend a Simple Screening
Ted has to learn more about his hearing from a professional. He may not trust other people when they inform him he needs a hearing aid. In that situation, the trick will be convincing Ted (or anyone like him) to come see us.
One of the following tactics might help you do that:
- Stress that he’ll only be having a quick screening. In the vast majority of cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. His hearing will be categorized by frequency on an audiogram. The significance of the information can then be clarified by us.
- Recommend that both of you go together for back-to-back assessments. This can make beginning the dialogue easier. You may discover that you also have some degree of hearing loss (depending on how long you’ve been subjected to loud noise).
Chat About Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss is frequently indiscernible because it progresses so gradually. When this occurs, you might acquire certain behaviors without realizing it. 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:
- Point out situations where you have to translate what someone said. 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.
- Make him aware that he’s not talking on the phone as much as he used to because he has a difficult time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
- Letting him know that his family has noticed him straining to hear. Each year it seems like fewer and fewer people are going over to see the Big Game and that could be because the TV is so loud.
When you have these discussions focusing on these behaviors, not the condition, will be the objective. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing loss, point out how his hearing loss effects people in his life.
Emphasize The Technology in Contemporary Hearing Aids
Sometimes, reticence to using hearing aids comes from antiquated (but understandable) ideas of what hearing aids do and how they influence one’s personal appearance. It might not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology employed by modern hearing aids.
The following are some examples:
- Some hearing aids have added features, including the ability to translate in real-time or track important biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- The technology of modern hearing aids is quite advanced. Your hearing aid will connect wirelessly with your phone, TV, and other smart devices thanks to Bluetooth® connectivity. This delivers amplified volumes without noise or feedback.
- Modern hearing aids are generally very small and almost completely unseen to the naked eye. Not only that, modern hearing aids are incredibly comfortable for the wearer. They’re not cumbersome like they once were. They won’t even be seen by most people.
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.
Highlight The Long-Term Advantages
Finally, take the time to point out the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. To put it bluntly, hearing is crucial to a person’s mental health.
You will keep more of your hearing undamaged in the long run if you treat your hearing loss as soon as possible. When you have hearing impairment, your ears have a difficult time processing particular wavelengths and hearing aids are calibrated to fill in those missing frequencies. Simply turning your television volume up isn’t a substitute for this valuable technology.
Getting treatment as soon as you begin experiencing hearing loss can help save your hearing, and knowing that will help convince people like Ted to seek help.