It’s difficult to discuss hearing loss with family.
How to help those you care about get the help they need.
Hearing loss doesn’t just affect the person who has it. It also affects spouses, family members and friends. From frustration with having to repeat things over and over to heartbreak at seeing someone you care about isolate themselves from the people and activities they love, the negative effects of hearing loss cast a wide net.
Convincing a loved one to seek help is the right thing to do, but it’s not always easy. This blog post provides some dos and don’ts to help you approach this important subject.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Left untreated, hearing loss can affect a person’s quality of life in many ways. Yet without even realizing it, you may be making it easier for someone not to seek help.
Well-intentioned efforts such as repeating yourself or “translating” what others are saying may be preventing your loved one from realizing how much communication they fail to understand or miss completely.
Have they stopped attending plays at The Public Theatre or Community Little Theater in Lewiston Auburn? The last time you went to Fishbones, or Mac’s Grill for dinner did they join in on the conversation? Have they lost interest in attending church?
What You Can Do
↘ Talk to your loved one about their hearing concerns
↘ Gently remind them of their loss every time you “translate” or repeat something for them
↘ Recommend they visit an audiologist or website like LAHearingCenter.org to do more research and get their questions answered
↘ Offer to schedule and attend a hearing consultation with them
↘ Remind them they have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain by seeing an audiologist
Don’t Be Surprised if You Get Resistance
Unlike eyesight, when hearing goes, people are in less of a hurry to do something about it — with many waiting five to seven years before finally seeking treatment. Be prepared for pushback with these responses.
My family doctor would have told me if I have hearing loss.
Not true — less than 20 percent of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during physicals.
Wearing a hearing aid will make my hearing loss obvious.
Today’s hearing aids are sleek and stylish or even invisible and certainly less noticeable than if you constantly ask people to repeat themselves, inappropriately respond, or don’t respond at all.
A little hearing loss is no big deal.
The fact is, studies have linked untreated hearing loss to stress, depression, social isolation, increased risk to personal safety, reduced earning power, and more. (betterhearing.org)
What Does Hearing Loss Sound Like
Visit one of our trusted partners, Phonak, to listen to a hearing loss simulator that compares three levels of hearing (normal, mild loss and severe loss) as you listen to several common sounds (sounds of nature, the city, a phone ringing, speech, music).
When is it time to seek professional help?
As soon as you feel you are experiencing difficulty hearing and/or understanding conversations, especially if you have begun AVOIDING situations and activities that you enjoy because of your hearing difficulties.
Choosing Your Healthcare Team
We are the Lewiston Auburn area’s only private, non-profit provider of comprehensive audiological services.