Football games with Ted are miserable. Enjoying the game is impossible because the volume is cranked up so loud that the walls shake. The announcer’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the earsplitting roar of the crowd.
It isn’t in any way pleasant. But for Ted, the volume is normal. He needs the TV to be incredibly loud so he can hear it, which makes it rather clear he needs a hearing aid. How to discuss this with him is the challenge. It should be a straightforward discussion, but he seems overly sensitive about the topic.
The following are some tips that could help.
Suggest a Basic Screening
Ted has to learn more about his hearing from a specialist. He may not believe other people when they inform him he needs a hearing aid. If that’s the case, the trick will be convincing Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
One of the following strategies may help you do that:
- Stress that he’ll only be undergoing a basic assessment. In most cases, hearing screenings are fast and easy. His hearing will be categorized by frequency on an audiogram. We can explain what the results mean.
- Offer to get a screening with him. This is a beneficial way to discuss a new medical situation. It’s possible you’ll learn that you’ve experienced some hearing loss, too (it could depend on how long you’ve been exposed to a high-volume noise).
Comment on Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss is often indiscernible because it advances so slowly. When this happens, you might pick up certain behaviors without recognizing it. By focusing 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:
- Informing him that his family has noticed him struggling to hear. Maybe that’s why fewer individuals are going to his house to watch the Big Game each year, they have a difficult time coping with the loud television.
- Point out that he’s been evading talking to friends and family members on the phone because he has difficulty hearing what’s being said.
- Mention that you’ve observed how frequently you’re “translating” for him. Here’s a hypothetical example: someone is talking to Ted but you’re closer and Ted needs you to keep repeating what was said because he can’t understand them.
When you have these discussions focusing on these behaviors, not the condition, will be the goal. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, mention how his hearing loss effects those around him.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
Sometimes, reluctance to using hearing aids comes from outdated (but understandable) ideas of what hearing aids do and how they affect one’s personal appearance. It may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology employed by contemporary hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- Modern hearing aids are generally extremely small and almost totally unseen to the naked eye. That’s not all, modern hearing aids are incredibly comfortable for the wearer. They aren’t the big and cumbersome units they used to be. Most individuals will most likely never notice you’re wearing them.
- Some hearing aids have extra features, like the ability to translate in real-time or track important biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- Modern hearing aids carry an immense amount of technology. Your hearing aid will connect wirelessly with your phone, TV, and other smart devices by way of Bluetooth® connectivity. With this technology, the volume of your devices will be increased without feedback and noise.
For many people, hearing aids feel like an extension of their smartphones or tablets. Modern hearing aids are very useful pieces of technology that help you enjoy live streaming.
Highlight The Long-Term Advantages
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) their cognitive faculties. Essentially, your brain health depends on you being capable of hearing clearly.
You will keep more of your hearing intact in the long run if you treat your hearing loss as soon as possible. Hearing aids are calibrated to fill in specific sound wavelengths your ears have a difficult time discerning. When you simply turn up the volume 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.