Watching sports with Ted is very frustrating. He has the volume turned up so loud the walls shake, and you surely can’t pay attention to the game. All you can hear is the roar of the crowd hammering against your body, punctuated by the ear-shattering staccato of the announcer’s play-by-play calls.
It isn’t at all pleasant. But the volume seems fine for Ted. 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 discuss this with him is the problem. His sensitivity about the topic makes what should be a straightforward conversation a lot more challenging.
The following are some recommendations that might help.
Suggest a Basic Screening
Ted needs an expert to inform him about his hearing. Other people might not seem as credible when they tell him about it. In that situation, the strategy will be convincing Ted (or anyone like him) to come see us.
One of the following tactics might help you do that:
- Attempt to make him feel more comfortable by letting him know that it’s just a simple assessment. In the vast majority of cases, hearing screenings are fast and easy. His hearing will be categorized by frequency on an audiogram. The meaning of the results can then be clarified by us.
- Offer to get a screening too. This is a beneficial way to discuss a new medical situation. You may discover that you also have some level of hearing impairment (it could depend on how long you’ve been subjected to a high-volume noise).
Talk About Behaviors Linked To Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is often undetectable because it advances so gradually. When this happens, you might pick up certain behaviors without realizing it. By focusing your discussion on those behaviors, you can subtly (or not so subtly) hint that Ted (or somebody like him) needs a hearing aid.
Try something like the following:
- Letting him know that his family has noticed him straining to hear. Perhaps that’s why fewer people are going to his house to watch the Big Game each year, they have a tough time coping with the loud television.
- Point out that he’s been avoiding talking to family members and friends by phone because he has difficulty hearing what’s being said.
- Point out instances where you need to translate what somebody said. It might happen like this: someone is talking to Ted but you’re closer and Ted needs you to keep repeating what was said because he can’t hear them.
The goal during these discussions is to keep your discussion centered on these behaviors rather than the disorder. Instead of talking about how Ted is experiencing hearing loss, mention how his hearing loss effects those around him.
Emphasize The Technology in Modern Hearing Aids
Antiquated ideas of how a hearing aid impacts your appearance and what hearing aids do, in some instances, leads to reluctance to use one. It may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology used by modern hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- Usually, modern hearing aids are so small you can’t even notice them. Not only that, modern hearing aids are exceptionally comfortable for the wearer. They aren’t the big and cumbersome units they used to be. Most individuals will most likely never notice you’re wearing them.
- Modern hearing aids have an incredible amount of technology. Thanks to connectivity, for instance, your hearing aids will pair seamlessly with your phone or even your television speakers. This provides amplified volumes without noise or feedback.
- Some hearing aids have added features, including the ability to translate in real-time or track important biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
For many people, hearing aids feel like an extension of their smartphones or tablets. Modern hearing aids are very helpful pieces of technology that help you enjoy live streaming.
Promote The Long-Term Advantages
Lastly, it’s worth taking time to mention the long-term benefits of hearing aids, which have been shown to help people keep (or recover) mental equity. To put it bluntly, hearing is crucial to a person’s cognitive health.
You will keep more of your hearing intact in the long run if you address your hearing loss as soon as you can. Hearing aids are calibrated to fill in specific sound wavelengths which your ears have a difficult time discerning. Simply turning up your TV isn’t a substitute for this valuable technology.
Understanding that your hearing can be preserved by getting treatment when you first observe signs of hearing impairment will help people like Ted feel comfortable getting the help they need.