Did you know it takes the average person with hearing loss seven years to seek treatment for their condition? Yet, when hearing loss arises the sooner a person seeks treatment the more effectively they can rehabilitate their hearing. Sometimes denial, embarrassment and procrastination get in the way of a person seeking help for hearing issues, and delayed attention can worsen existing hearing problems. Although it may be a difficult conversation, if you notice a loved one struggling with their hearing it’s important to encourage them to get their hearing checked.
Recognizing Hearing Loss
Sometimes a person with hearing loss is the last to recognize how pronounced their hearing difficulty has gotten. When a person needs speech repeated regularly or they constantly turn up the volume on their television or radio it is a strong indicator that something may be affecting their hearing.
Other signs of hearing loss may be subtler. A person may withdraw from their regular social schedule and avoid loud and noisy places which can quickly become confusing. Depression, anxiety and social isolation can all be closely linked to untreated hearing issues. If you notice the signs of hearing loss in a loved one, the best thing to do is to encourage them to seek care. Treating hearing loss isn’t just effective for your hearing, it benefits a person’s entire quality of life.
Setting The Stage
The first step towards helping a loved one with hearing issues is opening up the topic and having an honest conversation with them about what you have noticed and what they experience. Find time where you can have a private conversation with your loved on in a quiet location. Make sure the space is one where you will both be able to focus without distractions.
Once you sit down to talk, it’s time to broach the topic. Ask them about their hearing health, and listen to what they have to say. Let your loved one know that you have noticed that they may be having problems hearing things that others hear. It’s important to listen to what your loved one tells you about their experience. Make sure to keep the conversation focused on their hearing health, and respond to what they say.
Help Them Make an Action Plan
Tell your loved one you care about their wellbeing and encourage them one to see a hearing specialist. If they deny or downplay the need for a hearing exam, suggest that they see a hearing specialist in order to establish a health history for their hearing. Developing a hearing health history can be used to detect hearing loss early and normalizes hearing exams as a part of annual checkups. Framing a hearing exam as a routine part of regular healthcare and can make your loved one more comfortable with the idea of a hearing checkup.
If you can, offer to help them make their hearing exam appointment or accompany them to their exam. Your support can help keep their action plan on track, preventing them from canceling or bowing out of their scheduled appointment. Even if you aren’t able to support them in keeping their appointment, follow up with your loved one to see how it went. Offer love and support each step of the way.
Practice What You Preach
Another way to support your loved one is to lead by example. Making a general practice of annual hearing exams does help detect and treat hearing issues early. If you’re overdue for your next hearing exam, join forces with your loved one and make appointments together. Staying on top of our hearing health is critical in today’s noisy world and our hearing becomes more vulnerable to damage as we age.
Coordinating your own hearing exam with a loved one offers camaraderie and support. If one or both of your team effort has to confront hearing loss, being with someone can help make the news more approachable. Being there for a loved one can help if they are weighing options for their next steps or course of treatment.
When you are setting up hearing appointments, there’s no place like Encore Hearing. Serving the Daytona Beach area, Encore offers comprehensive hearing care conveniently located in Port Orange. From complete hearing exams to a full selection of hearing aids and assistive devices, Encore Hearing offers friendly and affordable hearing health care tailored to your lifestyle. Call us today!