Watching sports with Ted is incredibly frustrating. He has the volume turned up so loud the walls rattle, and you certainly can’t pay attention to the game. The commentator’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the earsplitting thunder of the crowd.
It’s not fun. But the volume sounds fine for Ted. He needs the TV to be tremendously 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 difficult.
These tips are a good place to begin.
Recommend a Basic Screening
Ted has to find out more about his hearing from a specialist. He might not trust other people when they inform him he needs a hearing aid. In that situation, the strategy will be convincing Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
You might be able to do that by making use of one of the following strategies:
- Try making him feel more comfortable by letting him know that it’s just a simple screening. In most cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. His hearing will be categorized by frequency on an audiogram. The meaning of the information can then be broken down by us.
- Offer to get a screening too. This is a beneficial way to broach a new medical situation. You may find out that you also have some degree of hearing loss (depending on how long you’ve been subjected to loud sound).
Discuss Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss is often indiscernible because it advances so slowly. Certain subconscious behaviors frequently develop when this occurs. You can hint in a discreet way that Ted needs a hearing aid by putting attention on these behaviors.
Try something like the following:
- Point out instances where you have to translate what somebody said. It may happen like this: your friend says something at dinner, Ted doesn’t hear or comprehend it, and you need to repeat what they said to Ted because you’re closer to him.
- Make him aware that he’s not using the phone as much as he used to because he has a difficult time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
- You could tell him your family has observed he’s been having a difficult time hearing. Maybe that’s why fewer people are going to his home to watch the Big Game each year, they have a difficult time coping with the loud television.
The goal during these conversations is to keep your discussion focused on these behaviors rather than the ailment. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing loss, mention how his hearing loss effects people in his life.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
Sometimes, reluctance to using hearing aids comes from outdated (but understandable) notions 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 utilized by modern hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- The technology of modern hearing aids is pretty advanced. Your hearing aid will connect wirelessly with your phone, TV, and other smart devices by way of Bluetooth® connectivity. This provides amplified volumes without feedback or noise.
- Modern hearing aids are typically incredibly small and almost totally imperceptible to the naked eye. That’s not all, modern hearing aids are amazingly comfortable for the wearer. They aren’t the big and cumbersome units they used to be. They won’t even be seen by most people.
- Some hearing aids have added features, like the ability to translate in real-time or track key biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
For many individuals, hearing aids feel like an extension of their smartphones or tablets. Modern hearing aids are very useful pieces of technology that allow you to enjoy live streaming.
Highlight The Long-Term Benefits
Finally, take the time to point out the connection between hearing loss and mental health decline. To put it bluntly, hearing is crucial to a person’s cognitive health.
The sooner you treat your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep in the long run. Hearing aids are calibrated specifically to fill in the sound wavelengths your ears have a difficult time discerning. Simply turning your television volume up is no substitute for this valuable technology.
Getting treatment as soon as you begin noticing hearing loss can help save your hearing, and knowing that will help convince people like Ted to seek help.