Watching sports with Ted is incredibly difficult. Enjoying the game is impossible because the volume is cranked up so loud that the walls shake. All you can hear is the roar of the crowd hammering against your body, punctuated by the ear-shattering staccato of the announcer’s play-by-play calls.
It’s not pleasant. But for Ted, the volume is normal. He needs the TV to be tremendously loud so he can hear it, which makes it rather clear he needs a hearing aid. You’re just not certain how to talk to him that. His sensitivity about the topic makes what should be a simple conversation a lot more challenging.
These tips are a good place to start.
You Can Suggest he Gets a Simple Hearing Test
Ted needs a specialist to educate him about his hearing. He might not trust other people when they tell him he needs a hearing aid. In that situation, the strategy will be getting Ted (or anyone like him) to come see us.
One of the following strategies might help you do that:
- Offer to get a screening too. This can make beginning the conversation easier. You may discover that you also have some degree of hearing loss (depending on how long you’ve been exposed to loud noise).
- Emphasize that he’ll only be undergoing a basic screening. In most cases, hearing screenings are fast and easy. His hearing will be broken down by frequency on an audiogram. We can detail what the results mean.
Chat About Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss is often indiscernible because it progresses 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 someone like him) needs a hearing aid.
Try something like the following:
- Informing him that his family has noticed him struggling to hear. Every year it seems like fewer and fewer people are going over to see the Big Game and that could be because the TV is so loud.
- Make him aware that he’s not using the phone as much as he once did because he has a difficult time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
- Mention that you’ve noticed how often you’re “translating” for him. Here’s a hypothetical example: your friend says something at breakfast, Ted doesn’t hear or comprehend it, and you have to repeat what they said to Ted because you’re closer to him.
The goal during these conversations is to keep your discussion focused on these behaviors instead of the disorder. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, mention how his hearing loss impacts those around him.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
Antiquated notions of how a hearing aid affects your appearance and what hearing aids do, in some circumstances, leads to reluctance to wear one. It may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology used by contemporary hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- The technology of modern hearing aids is very advanced. Thanks to connectivity, for example, your hearing aids will pair seamlessly with your phone or even your TV speakers. This delivers amplified volumes without noise or feedback.
- Some hearing aids can even track your health and fitness biometrics and translate them in real time as well as other additional features.
- Usually, contemporary hearing aids are so small you can’t even notice them. Not only that, modern hearing aids are exceptionally comfortable for the wearer. They’re not cumbersome like they once were. Most people will probably never detect you’re wearing them.
Hearing aids, for many individuals, are a perfect extension to their other smart technology. In this modern world, hearing aids are extremely practical and will help you enjoy activities like live streaming.
Promote The Long-Term Benefits
Finally, take some time to emphasize the link between hearing loss and mental health decline. In other words, 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 treat your hearing loss as soon as possible. When you have hearing impairment, your ears have a difficult time processing particular wavelengths and hearing aids are calibrated to fill in those missing frequencies. Simply turning up your TV is no substitute for this valuable technology.
Understanding that your hearing can be preserved by getting treatment when you first notice signs of hearing impairment will help people like Ted feel comfortable getting the help they need.