Husband talking to his wife about her hearing loss and how to get help.

If you realize someone you love is suffering from hearing loss what should you do. Hearing loss frequently goes undetected by those who suffer from it and that makes it much more difficult to bring up. It’s a frustrating issue for the whole family and ignoring it isn’t the way to go. Your loved one’s life will be enhanced by the choices you make now so don’t wait to find a way to talk about it. Consider these strategies to help get you there.

Do the Research

First and foremost, you need to comprehend what is happening yourself so you are able to explain it. The chances of hearing loss become greater as people get older. About one in every three people have some level of hearing loss by the time they are 74 and greater than half suffer from it after the age of 75.

The medical term for this type of ear damage is presbycusis. The effect is gradual and normally affects both ears similarly. Chances are this person began losing some hearing years before anybody noticed.

Persbyscusis happens for several reasons. The simplest reason for age-related hearing loss is that decades of sound takes its toll on the delicate mechanisms of the ear, particularly the tiny hair cells. The brain gets electrical signals that are created by these tiny hair cells. What you know as sound is actually a message that is received and then translated by the brain. Without those hair cells, hearing is impossible.

The impact of chronic illnesses like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease

Hearing is impaired and the ear can be damaged by all of these.

Make a Date

It’s not only important what you say but also where you decide to say it. Setting something up so you can have a conversation is your best bet. Select a place that is quiet and ensures you won’t be disturbed. Bring with you any literature you can on the topic too. For example, the doctor may have a brochure that clarifies presbycusis.

Let’s Discuss the Whys

Expect this person to be a little defensive. Because it is related to aging, hearing loss can be a delicate matter. Getting older is a tough thing to acknowledge. Poor hearing might challenge the elderly’s belief that they are in control of their day-to-day lives.

Be ready to provide specifics as to how you know they have some hearing problems.

Mention that you need to constantly repeat yourself while having conversations, too. Don’t make it seem like you’re complaining, keep it casual. As you comprehend and put everything into perspective, be patient.

Now it’s Time to Listen

Be ready to sit back and listen once you have said what you need to say. Your family member might have noticed some changes and could have other concern but doesn’t know what they should do. Ask questions that will encourage this person to continue talking about their experience to help make it real to them.

Talk About the Support System

Hearing loss comes with a lot of fear and that could be tough to get past. Many people don’t realize that they have family and friends on their side and feel alone with their problem. Talk about others in the family who have had similar experiences and how they found ways to live with hearing loss.

Be Prepared to Offer Solutions

The most significant part of this talk is going to be what should be done next. Hearing loss is not the end of the world so let your loved one know that. There are lots of tools available to help, including hearing aids. Much more sleek and modern hearing aids are currently available. They come in many sizes and shapes and with features that improve the quality of life. If you can bring a tablet, use a computer or have some brochures that show the various devices that are now available.

Lastly, recommend that the first place to start is at the doctor’s office. Some hearing loss goes away. Get an ear exam to rule out things such as ear wax build up and medication that could be causing the issue. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.