Watching sports with Ted is very difficult. He has the volume cranked up so high the walls rattle, and you definitely can’t pay attention to the game. All you notice 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 by any means pleasant. But for Ted, it’s a normal volume. Everything has to be at top volume for him to hear it, making it pretty apparent that it’s time to think about hearing aids. How to discuss this with him is the difficulty. His sensitivity about the topic makes what should be a simple conversation much more challenging.
These tips are a good place to start.
You Can Recommend he Gets a Simple Hearing Exam
Ted has to learn more about his hearing from a specialist. He might not trust other people when they tell him he needs a hearing aid. If that’s the case, the trick will be getting Ted (or anyone like him) to come see us.
You may be able to do that by making use of one of the following strategies:
- Offer to get a screening too. This can make starting the conversation easier. You might find out that you also have some degree of hearing loss (it could depend on how long you’ve been exposed to a high-volume sound).
- Attempt to make him feel more comfortable by letting him know that it’s just a simple screening. In most cases, hearing screenings are fast and easy. Ted will receive his results on an audiogram, which will break down his hearing by frequency. The meaning of the information can then be clarified by us.
Discuss Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss is often indiscernible because it progresses so slowly. Certain subconscious behaviors frequently develop when this occurs. By focusing your conversation 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 strategies:
- Mention that you’ve observed how frequently you’re “translating” for him. It might happen like this: somebody is talking to Ted but you’re closer and Ted needs you to keep repeating what was said because he can’t hear them.
- Point out that he’s been avoiding talking to friends and family members on the phone because he has trouble hearing what they say.
- You could tell him the family has observed he’s been having a tough time hearing. 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.
The goal during these conversations is to keep your discussion focused on these behaviors rather than the disorder. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, point out how his hearing loss effects those around him.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
In some instances, reluctance to wearing hearing aids comes from outdated (but understandable) impressions of what hearing aids do and how they affect one’s personal appearance. It might not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology employed by contemporary hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- Modern hearing aids have a considerable amount of technology. Thanks to connectivity, for example, your hearing aids will pair easily with your phone or even your television speakers. This provides amplified volumes without noise or feedback.
- Some hearing aids have extra features, such as the ability to translate in real-time or track key biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- Usually, contemporary hearing aids are so small you can’t even see them. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They aren’t the big and bulky units they used to be. They won’t even be noticed by most people.
Hearing aids, for many individuals, are an ideal extension to their other smart technology. In this modern world, hearing aids are incredibly useful and will help you enjoy activities like live streaming.
Promote The Long-Term Benefits
Finally, take some time to point out the connection between hearing loss and mental health decline. To put it bluntly, hearing is crucial to a person’s mental health.
The sooner you address your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep over time. When you have hearing loss, your ears have a difficult time processing particular wavelengths and hearing aids are calibrated to fill in those missing frequencies. When you simply turn the volume up you don’t fill in the particular frequencies that are missing.
Recognizing that your hearing can be preserved by getting treatment when you first observe signs of hearing loss will help people like Ted feel comfortable getting the help they need.