It’s Difficult to Determine What to do About A Loved One With Hearing Loss

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. It’s not an easy subject to bring up because frequently those who are gradually losing their hearing don’t recognize it. It’s a frustrating issue for the whole family and ignoring it isn’t the answer. Find a way to discuss it with your loved one now so that their life can be enhanced. Consider these suggestions to help get you there.

If You Want to be Able to Explain it Better, do The Research

Discussing the issue is much less difficult if you first understand it. The chances of hearing loss increase as people grow older. About one person out of every three suffer from some level of hearing reduction by the time they reach the age of 74 and more than half have it after they reach the age of 75.

Presbycusis is the technical term for this form of ear damage. It usually happens in both ears equally, and the effect is gradual. It’s likely that this person began losing some hearing years before anyone noticed.

Persbyscusis occurs for several reasons. The simplest explanation for age-related hearing loss is that decades of sound eventually breaks down delicate mechanisms of the ear, specifically the tiny hair cells. Electrical messages are generated that go to the brain. The brain gets the message and translates them into what you know as sound. Without those hair cells, hearing is impossible.

The impact of chronic illnesses like:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

Each one can harm the ear and reduce hearing.

Make a Date

What you say to your loved one is important however it’s also important where you have the talk. Scheduling something so you can have a talk is the best bet. Pick a setting that is quiet and ensures you won’t be interrupted. Bring along whatever written material you can on the topic too. Presbycusis may be discussed in a brochure that you can obtain from a doctor, as an example.

Let’s Discuss the Whys

The reaction you can expect at first is for the person to be defensive. Because it is related to aging, loss of hearing can be a delicate subject. Growing older is a difficult thing to acknowledge. Senior citizens struggle to stay in control of their everyday lives and they may think poor hearing challenges that freedom.

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 sound like you’re complaining, keep it casual. As you comprehend and put everything into perspective, be patient.

Now it’s Time to Listen

Be prepared to sit back and listen after you have said what needs to be said. Your family member might have noticed some changes and may have other worries but doesn’t know what they should do. Ask questions that will motivate this person to continue talking about their experience to help make it real to them.

Let Them Know They Have a Support System

Getting past the fear that comes with hearing loss is going to be the toughest challenge. Many people don’t understand that they have family and friends on their side and feel isolated with their condition. Remind them of how other family members have discovered a way to cope with the same issue.

Come Armed With Solutions

What to do next is going to be the most important part of the conversation. Hearing loss is not the end of the world so let your loved one know that. There are a lot of available tools such as hearing aids which can be helpful. 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.

Going to the doctor is the first step. Not all hearing loss lasts forever. Rule out earwax build up or medication side effects that could be causing your issue by getting an ear exam. Then the doctor can set up a hearing test, and you can go from there.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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