Watching sports with Ted is extremely frustrating. Paying attention to the game is impossible because the volume is turned up so loud that the walls shake. The commentator’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the earsplitting thunder of the crowd.
It isn’t by any means enjoyable. But for Ted, it’s a normal volume. Everything needs to be at max volume in order for him to hear it, making it pretty obvious that it’s time to consider hearing aids. How to discuss this with him is the difficulty. It should be a simple discussion, but he seems excessively sensitive about the topic.
These tips are a good place to start.
You Can Suggest he Gets a Simple Hearing Exam
Ted needs an expert to educate him about his hearing. Other people might not seem as credible when they talk to him about it. If that’s the case, the strategy will be getting Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
One of the following strategies may help you do that:
- Suggest the two of you go together for back-to-back screenings. This is a helpful way to broach a new medical situation. It’s possible you’ll discover that you’ve experienced some hearing loss, as well (it could depend on how long you’ve been exposed to a high-volume noise).
- Stress that he’ll only be having a simple assessment. In most cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. His hearing will be categorized by frequency on an audiogram. We can clarify what the results mean.
Comment on Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss is often indiscernible because it advances so gradually. When this occurs, you might acquire certain behaviors without knowing it. By concentrating your discussion on those behaviors, you can subtly (or not so subtly) hint that Ted (or somebody like him) needs a hearing aid.
Try something like the following:
- Point out instances where you have to translate what somebody said. Here’s a hypothetical example: someone is talking to Ted but you’re closer and Ted needs you to constantly repeat what was said because he can’t hear them.
- You could tell him the family has noticed he’s been having a hard time hearing. Perhaps that’s why fewer individuals are going to his home to watch the Big Game each year, they have a hard time coping with the loud television.
- Point out that he’s been evading talking to family members and friends on the phone because he has difficulty hearing what they say.
The goal during these talks is to keep your discussion centered on these behaviors instead of the disorder. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, point out how his hearing loss impacts those around him.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
In some instances, reluctance to wearing hearing aids comes from outdated (but understandable) notions of what hearing aids do and how they influence one’s personal appearance. It might not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology used by modern hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- Usually, contemporary hearing aids are so small you can’t even see them. That’s not all, modern hearing aids are exceptionally comfortable for the wearer. They aren’t the big and bulky units they used to be. They won’t even be noticed by most people.
- Some hearing aids have added features, like the ability to translate in real-time or track key biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- The technology of modern hearing aids is very advanced. Your hearing aid will connect wirelessly with your phone, TV, and other smart devices thanks to Bluetooth® connectivity. This provides amplified volumes without feedback or noise.
Hearing aids, for many people, are a perfect extension to their other smart technology. In this modern world, hearing aids are extremely useful and will help you enjoy activities such as live streaming.
Highlight The Long-Term Benefits
Finally, take the time to emphasize the connection between hearing loss and mental health decline. Essentially, your brain health depends on you being able to hear clearly.
You will keep more of your hearing undamaged in the long run if you manage your hearing loss as soon as possible. Hearing aids are calibrated specifically to fill in the sound wavelengths your ears have a difficult time discerning. When you simply turn the volume up you don’t fill in the particular missing frequencies.
Understanding that your hearing can be preserved by getting treatment when you first observe signs of hearing impairment will help people like Ted feel comfortable seeking the help they need.