Hearing Helpers - Rockford, IL

Husband talking to his wife about her hearing loss and how to get help.

If you discover someone you love has hearing loss what should you do. Hearing loss frequently goes undetected by those who have it and that makes it even more difficult to talk about. Ignoring this frustrating issue is not helpful for anyone involved. Your loved one’s life will be enhanced by the things you do now so don’t wait to find a way to talk about it. Consider these suggestions to help get you there.

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

First and foremost, you need to understand what is taking place yourself so you are able to explain it. The risks of hearing loss increase as people get older. About one in every three people have some degree of hearing reduction by the time they reach the age of 74 and greater than half suffer from it after they reach the age of 75.

This form of ear damage is called presbycusis. The effect is gradual and generally affects both ears equally. This hearing loss most likely began years before it was noticed.

There are lots of reasons why presbycusis occurs. The most basic reason for age-related hearing loss is that many years of sound takes its toll on the delicate mechanisms of the ear, specifically the tiny hair cells. Electrical messages are created which go to the brain. The brain gets the signals and translates them into what you know as sound. Hearing is impossible without those little hairs.

The impact of chronic illnesses like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease

Hearing is impaired and the ear can be hurt by each one of these.

Set a Date

It’s not only important what you say but also where you decide to say it. Scheduling something so you can have a talk is your best bet. Pick a setting that is quiet and ensures you won’t be interrupted. If you have any literature on the subject, you should bring that also. Presbycusis might be explained in a brochure that you can obtain from a doctor, as an example.

Let’s Discuss the Whys

Expect this person will be a little defensive. Hearing loss is a delicate subject because it is related to getting old. Growing older is a tough thing to accept. The elderly fight to stay in control of their daily lives and they might believe poor hearing challenges that freedom.

Be ready to provide specifics as to how you know they have some hearing problems.

Remind them how often they ask you and others to repeat themselves. Keep the conversation casual and don’t make it sound like you are complaining. As you comprehend and put everything into perspective, be patient.

Be Prepared to Listen

Be prepared to sit back and listen after you have said what you need to say. Your family member might express concerns or say they have noticed some changes but didn’t know what they should do. So that you can help them come to a realization about their hearing loss, ask questions which encourage them to keep talking.

Let Them Know They Have a Support System

Hearing loss comes with a lot of fear and that can be hard to get past. Many people feel isolated with their condition and don’t understand they have family and friends on the other side. Remind them of how other family members have found a way to cope with the same problem.

Bring Solutions

The most crucial part of this conversation is going to be what to do next. Hearing loss is not the end of the world so let your loved one know that. There are a lot of available tools including hearing aids which can be helpful. Today’s hearing aids are modern and sleek. They come in many sizes and shapes and with features that improve the quality of life. Show them some literature on a computer or brochure detailing the different devices that are available.

Finally, suggest that the first place to start is at the doctor’s office. 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. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.

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