Studies show that over 28 million US adults could benefit from wearing hearing aids, but less than 30% of that number have actually tried them. There are millions of people all over the country with an untreated hearing loss, which not only affects them, but their loved ones too.
If you suspect a loved one has a hearing loss, you need to approach the subject with sensitivity. Here at Acadian Hearing, we often see patients come in for help after some gentle encouragement from a loved one, and it’s wonderful to see them leave feeling more confident and often amazed by their great new gadget – hearing aids.
How to tell if a loved one has a hearing loss?
If your husband or wife has a hearing loss, it is likely to be easy for you to tell. You will find you need to repeat yourself more often, and the TV volume will start creeping up. But if it’s a family member you don’t live with, it can be harder to notice the early signs of a hearing loss. One big hint is when they become withdrawn, turning down invitations, and avoiding social gatherings. They may seem depressed, and forgetful, which is often down to not hearing things rather than a memory fault.
How to broach the subject?
The first thing to do, if you think your loved one has a hearing loss, is to do some research. Many people are resistant to the idea that they are getting older and having health problems, so it is likely they will not want to admit to a hearing loss. Some figures about how common it is, and information about modern hearing aids, which are very small and discreet, can help bring your loved one around.
Choose a quiet time when the two of you can talk without distractions, and perhaps start the conversation by telling them about the changes you’ve noticed in them. Make it clear that you are concerned about them, get out those figures to show them how common it is, and that they are not alone. The idea of wearing hearing aids is often the driver for people to resist admitting to a hearing loss, so you might show them how advanced hearing aids are these days.
You could get friends and family members to talk to them too if they are being particularly resistant to the idea. Get them to explain how your loved one’s hearing loss affects them, rather than just nagging them to do something about it.
Book a hearing test
Even if your loved one won’t discuss hearing aids, if you can persuade them to have a hearing test, that’s half the battle won. A good way to do this is to suggest you both have your hearing tested, as a general hearing health check-up.
Here at Acadian Hearing, our audiology specialists are friendly and helpful, and used to dealing with people who would rather not admit to a hearing loss. Book a hearing test at one of our Hearing Centers in Lake Charles or Sulphur, Louisiana, and help your loved one start the journey to better hearing.
Dr. Heidi J. Sorrells obtained her doctorate degree from Salus University in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota. She is a certified Audiologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and she holds a Louisiana and a Texas Audiology License. Dr. Sorrells enjoys all aspects of working in a private practice audiology clinic but especially loves the challenges of vestibular (balance) assessment and rehabilitation.