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

If you realize someone you love has hearing loss what should be done. Normally, people who have gradual hearing loss don’t recognize it so that makes it a hard subject to talk about. No one is helped by neglecting this frustrating issue. The things you do now will enhance the lives of your parent, spouse, sibling or friend and it starts with discovering a way to discuss it. To help get you there, think about these tips.

Study More so You Can Discuss it Better

Explaining the issue is much less difficult if you first understand it. The chances of hearing loss become greater as people get older. About one in every three people have some amount of hearing loss by the time they reach the age of 74 and greater than half have it after they reach the age of 75.

The medical name for this form of ear damage is presbycusis. It usually occurs in both ears equally, and the effect is gradual. Years before anyone noticed, it’s probable that this person started losing their hearing.

Persbyscusis occurs for several reasons. The most basic reason for age-related hearing loss is that many years of sound takes its toll on the delicate mechanisms of the ear, especially the little hair cells. Electrical messages are created that go to the brain. What you know as sound is actually a signal that is received and then translated by the brain. Hearing is not possible without those little hairs.

Chronic illnesses can play a role, as well, such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

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

Set a Date

It’s not only important what you say but also where you choose to say it. Setting something up so you can have a talk is your best bet. To make sure you won’t be interrupted, pick a quiet place. Bringing literature on the subject can be very helpful. For example, the doctor might have a brochure that explains presbycusis.

Talk About the Whys

The response you can expect at first is for the person to be defensive. Hearing loss is a delicate topic because it is associated with aging. It’s tough to accept that you are getting older. Poor hearing may challenge the elderly’s idea that they are in control of their day-to-day lives.

Be prepared to offer particulars as to how you know they have some hearing problems.

Mention that you need to keep repeating yourself during conversations, too. Don’t make it sound like you’re complaining, keep it casual. As you understand and put everything into perspective, be patient.

Now it’s Time to Listen

Be ready to sit back and listen after you have said what you need to say. Your family member may share concerns or say they have recognized some changes but were unsure what to do. In order to help them come to a realization about their hearing loss, ask questions which motivate them to keep talking.

Talk About the Support System

Hearing loss comes along with a lot of fear and that could be hard to get past. Many people don’t understand that they have friends and family on their side and feel alone with their condition. Remind them of how other family members have discovered a way to cope with the same problem.

Be Prepared to Offer Solutions

The most crucial part of this discussion is going to be what to do next. Let your loved one know that hearing loss isn’t the end of the world. There are plenty of tools available to help, such as hearing aids. Today’s hearing aids are modern and sleek. They come with features that improve the quality of life and come in all shapes and sizes. Show them some literature on a computer or brochure detailing the different devices that are available.

Finally, suggest that the first place to start is at the doctor’s office. Not all hearing loss lasts forever. Get an ear exam and rule out things such as ear wax build up and medication that may be causing the issue. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.

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