Football games with Ted are miserable. Enjoying the game is impossible because the volume is cranked up so loud that the walls rattle. All you can hear is the thunder of the crowd pounding 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, the volume is normal. He requires the TV to be extremely loud so he can hear it, which makes it pretty clear he needs a hearing aid. How to talk to him about it is the difficulty. His sensitivity about the subject makes what should be a simple conversation a lot more challenging.
These tips are a good place to begin.
Suggest a Simple Screening
Ted needs to find out more about his hearing from an expert. Other people may not seem as credible when they tell him about it. If that’s the case, the trick will be getting Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
One of the following strategies may help you do that:
- Recommend that both of you go together for back-to-back assessments. This can make starting the conversation easier. You may find out that you also have some degree of hearing impairment (depending on how long you’ve been exposed to loud noise).
- Try making him feel more at ease by letting him know that it’s just a simple assessment. In the vast majority of cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. His hearing will be broken down by frequency on an audiogram. The meaning of the information can then be clarified by us.
Discuss Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss happens slowly, often advancing so slowly it’s not noticeable. When this occurs, you may pick up certain behaviors without knowing it. You can hint in a discreet way that Ted needs a hearing aid by focusing on these behaviors.
Try something like the following:
- Point out that you’ve noticed how often you’re “translating” for him. It may happen like this: your friend says something at breakfast, Ted doesn’t hear or comprehend it, and you have to repeat the sentence to Ted because you’re closer to him.
- Remind Him that he’s not talking on the phone as much as he once did because he has a hard time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
- You could tell him your family has noticed 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 hard time dealing with the loud television.
When you have these talks focusing on these behaviors, not the disorder, will be the objective. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, point out how his hearing loss effects those around him.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
Outdated ideas of how a hearing aid impacts your appearance and what hearing aids do, in some circumstances, results in reticence to wear one. It may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology used by modern hearing aids.
The following are some examples:
- Some hearing aids have additional features, including the ability to translate in real-time or track important biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- Usually, contemporary hearing aids are so small you can’t even notice them. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They aren’t the big and cumbersome units they used to be. Most people will most likely never detect you’re wearing them.
- The technology of modern hearing aids is quite advanced. Your hearing aid will connect wirelessly with your phone, TV, and other smart devices by way of Bluetooth® connectivity. With this tech, the volume of your devices will be amplified without feedback and noise.
For many people, hearing aids feel like an extension of their smartphones or tablets. In this modern world, hearing aids are extremely useful and will help you enjoy activities like live streaming.
Promote The Long-Term Advantages
Finally, take the time to point out the link between hearing loss and mental health decline. In other words, your brain health depends on you being able to hear clearly.
The sooner you address your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep in the long run. When you have hearing impairment, your ears have a hard time processing specific wavelengths and hearing aids are calibrated to fill in those missing frequencies. When you simply turn up the volume you don’t fill in the particular frequencies that are missing.
Getting treatment as soon as you start experiencing hearing loss can help save your hearing, and knowing that will help persuade people like Ted to seek help.