Watching sports with Ted is very difficult. He has the volume turned up so loud the walls shake, and you surely can’t tune in to the game. All you can hear is the thunder of the crowd pounding against your body, punctuated by the ear-shattering staccato of the commentator’s play-by-play calls.
It isn’t pleasant. But for Ted, it’s a normal volume. Everything has to be at top volume in order for him to hear it, making it pretty apparent that it’s time to think about hearing aids. How to talk to him about it is the challenge. It should be a straightforward conversation, but he seems overly sensitive about the topic.
These tips are a good place to start.
Encourage a Simple Exam
Ted has to find out more about his hearing from an expert. Other people might not seem as credible when they tell him about it. In that situation, the strategy will be getting Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
One of the following tactics may help you do that:
- Attempt to make him feel more at ease by letting him know that it’s just a simple screening. In the vast majority of cases, hearing screenings are fast and easy. Ted will get his results on an audiogram, which will analyze his hearing by frequency. The meaning of the results can then be clarified by us.
- Suggest the two of you go together for back-to-back screenings. This is a helpful way to broach a new medical situation. It’s possible you’ll discover that you’ve experienced some hearing loss, too (depending on how long you’ve been exposed to loud sound).
Talk About Behaviors Associated With Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is often undetectable because it advances so slowly. Specific subconscious behaviors often develop when this happens. 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 something like the following:
- Letting him know that his family has observed him straining to hear. Every year it seems like fewer and fewer people are going over to watch the Big Game and that could be because the TV is so loud.
- Point out that you’ve noticed how often you’re “translating” for him. Here’s a hypothetical example: your friend says something at breakfast, Ted doesn’t hear or understand it, and you need to repeat the sentence to Ted because you’re closer to him.
- Remind Him that he’s not using the phone as much as he once did because he has a difficult time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
When you have these talks focusing on these behaviors, not the disorder, will be the objective. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, mention how his hearing loss impacts those around him.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
Antiquated notions of how a hearing aid impacts your appearance and what hearing aids do, in some cases, leads to reluctance to use one. It may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology utilized by modern hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- Modern hearing aids are usually incredibly small and almost entirely imperceptible to the naked eye. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They’re not bulky like they once were. Most individuals will probably never notice you’re wearing them.
- Modern hearing aids have a considerable amount of technology. Thanks to connectivity, for instance, your hearing aids will pair seamlessly with your phone or even your television speakers. With this technology, the volume of your devices will be amplified without noise and feedback.
- Some hearing aids have added features, including the ability to translate in real-time or track key 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 extremely helpful pieces of technology that allow you to enjoy live streaming.
Highlight The Long-Term Advantages
Finally, take the time to emphasize the link between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Essentially, your brain health depends on you being capable of hearing clearly.
You will keep more of your hearing intact in the long run if you manage your hearing loss as soon as you can. Hearing aids are calibrated specifically to fill in the sound wavelengths which your ears have a hard time discerning. Simply turning up your TV is no substitute for this valuable technology.
Getting treatment as soon as you start experiencing hearing loss can help save your hearing, and understanding that will help convince people like Ted to seek help.