Watching sports with Ted is very frustrating. Paying attention to the game is impossible because the volume is cranked up so loud that the walls rattle. All you notice is the roar 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 the volume sounds fine for Ted. He needs the TV to be tremendously loud so he can hear it, which makes it rather obvious he needs a hearing aid. You’re just not sure how to tell him that. It should be a simple discussion, but he seems excessively sensitive about the topic.
The following are several recommendations that may help.
Recommend a Basic Exam
Ted needs an expert to inform him about his hearing. Other people might not sound as credible when they talk to him about it. In that situation, the trick will be getting Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
You might be able to accomplish that by using one of the following tactics:
- Recommend that both of you go together for back-to-back assessments. This is a helpful way to discuss a new medical situation. It’s possible you’ll learn that you’ve experienced some hearing loss, as well (depending on how long you’ve been exposed to loud noise).
- Attempt to make him feel more at ease by letting him know that it’s just a simple assessment. In most cases, hearing screenings are fast and easy. His hearing will be broken down by frequency on an audiogram. The significance of the results can then be broken down by us.
Discuss Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss is often undetectable because it advances so slowly. Specific subconscious behaviors often develop when this occurs. 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 instances where you need to translate what somebody said. Here’s a hypothetical example: your friend says something at breakfast, Ted doesn’t hear or comprehend it, and you have to repeat what they said to Ted because you’re closer to him.
- Remind Him that he’s not using the phone as much as he once did because he has a difficult 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. Each year it seems like fewer and fewer people are going over to watch the Big Game and that could be because the TV is turned up so loud.
When you have these discussions focusing on these behaviors, not the disorder, will be the goal. Instead of talking about how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, point out how his hearing loss effects those around him.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
In some cases, reluctance to using hearing aids comes from antiquated (but understandable) ideas of what hearing aids do and how they impact one’s personal appearance. It may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology used by contemporary hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- The technology of modern hearing aids is quite advanced. Thanks to connectivity, for instance, your hearing aids will pair seamlessly with your phone or even your TV speakers. This provides amplified volumes without noise or feedback.
- Usually, modern hearing aids are so small you can’t even notice them. Not only that, modern hearing aids are exceptionally comfortable for the wearer. They aren’t the big and cumbersome units they used to be. They won’t even be noticed by most people.
- Some hearing aids have added features, such as the ability to translate in real-time or track key biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
For many individuals, hearing aids feel like an extension of their smartphones or tablets. Modern hearing aids are very useful pieces of technology that allow you to enjoy live streaming.
Highlight The Long-Term Benefits
Lastly, it’s worth taking time to mention the long-term benefits of hearing aids, which have been shown to help people keep (or recover) mental equity. Essentially, your brain health depends on you being able to hear clearly.
The sooner you manage your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep over time. When you have hearing impairment, your ears have a difficult time processing specific wavelengths and hearing aids are calibrated to fill in those missing frequencies. Simply turning up your TV isn’t a substitute for this valuable technology.
Recognizing that your hearing can be preserved by getting treatment when you first notice signs of hearing impairment will help people like Ted feel comfortable getting the help they need.