Football games with Ted are the worst. He has the volume turned up so loud the walls shake, and you definitely can’t tune in to the game. All you can hear is the thunder of the crowd hammering against your body, punctuated by the ear-shattering staccato of the commentator’s play-by-play calls.
It isn’t in any way enjoyable. But for Ted, it’s a normal volume. He requires the TV to be tremendously loud so he can hear it, which makes it rather obvious he needs a hearing aid. How to discuss this with him is the challenge. His sensitivity about the topic makes what should be a simple conversation much more challenging.
These tips are a good place to begin.
Recommend a Simple Screening
Ted needs a specialist to educate him about his hearing. Other people might not seem as credible when they tell him about it. In that situation, the strategy will be getting Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
One of the following strategies might help you do that:
- Recommend the two of you go together for back-to-back screenings. This is a beneficial way to discuss a new medical situation. You may discover that you also have some level of hearing loss (it may depend on how long you’ve been subjected to a high-volume noise).
- Try making him feel more at ease by letting him know that it’s just a simple screening. In most cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. His hearing will be broken down by frequency on an audiogram. We can explain what the results mean.
Chat About Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss happens slowly, often progressing so slowly it’s not noticeable. When this occurs, you might pick up certain behaviors without recognizing it. By concentrating your conversation 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:
- Remind Him that he’s not talking on the phone as much as he once did because he has a difficult time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
- Informing him that his family has observed him struggling to hear. Every 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.
- Point out instances where you need to translate what someone said. It may happen like this: somebody is talking to Ted but you’re closer and Ted needs you to constantly repeat what was said because he can’t understand them.
When you have these conversations focusing on these behaviors, not the disorder, will be the goal. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, mention how his hearing loss effects people in his life.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
In some cases, 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 may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology employed by contemporary hearing aids.
The following are some examples:
- Some hearing aids have extra features, such as the ability to translate in real-time or track key biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- Modern hearing aids are usually extremely small and almost totally unseen to the naked eye. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They aren’t the big and cumbersome units of the past. Most people will most likely never notice you’re wearing them.
- Modern hearing aids have a considerable amount of technology. Thanks to connectivity, for instance, your hearing aids will pair easily with your phone or even your television speakers. This delivers amplified volumes without noise or feedback.
Hearing aids, for many people, are an ideal extension to their other smart technology. Modern hearing aids are exceptionally helpful pieces of technology that help you enjoy live streaming.
Highlight The Long-Term Benefits
Finally, take some time to emphasize the link between hearing loss and mental health decline. To put it bluntly, hearing is crucial to a person’s cognitive health.
The sooner you treat your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep over time. Hearing aids are calibrated to fill in specific sound wavelengths your ears have a difficult time discerning. When you simply turn the volume up you don’t fill in the specific missing frequencies.
Understanding that your hearing can be preserved by getting treatment when you first observe signs of hearing loss will help people like Ted feel comfortable getting the help they need.