Watching sports with Ted is incredibly frustrating. Paying attention to the game is impossible because the volume is cranked up so loud that the walls shake. The commentator’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the earsplitting thunder of the crowd.
It isn’t in any way enjoyable. But for Ted, it’s a normal volume. Everything needs to be at max volume in order for him to be able to hear it, making it rather apparent that it’s time to consider hearing aids. You’re just not sure how to talk to him that. His sensitivity about the topic makes what should be a simple conversation a lot more difficult.
The following are a few recommendations that could help.
You Can Suggest he Gets a Basic Hearing Evaluation
Ted needs an expert to inform him about his hearing. Other people might not seem as credible when they tell him about it. If that’s the case, the strategy will be convincing Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
One of the following tactics may help you do that:
- Offer to get a screening with him. This can make starting the conversation easier. You might discover that you also have some level of hearing impairment (it could 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 assessment. 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.
Talk About Behaviors Associated With Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is often indiscernible because it progresses so slowly. Specific subconscious behaviors often develop when this happens. By focusing 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:
- Mention that you’ve observed how frequently you’re “translating” for him. It might 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.
- You could tell him your family has noticed he’s been having a hard time hearing. Maybe that’s why fewer people are going to his house to watch the Big Game each year, they have a difficult time dealing with the loud television.
- Make him aware that he’s not talking on the phone as much as he once did because he has a hard time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
The goal during these talks is to keep your discussion focused on these behaviors instead of the disorder. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, point out how his hearing loss effects people in his life.
Highlight The Technology in Contemporary Hearing Aids
Antiquated ideas of how a hearing aid affects your appearance and what hearing aids do, in some instances, leads to reluctance to use one. It might not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology employed by modern hearing aids.
The following are some examples:
- Some hearing aids have additional features, including the ability to translate in real-time or track key biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- Usually, modern hearing aids are so small you can’t even see them. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They’re not cumbersome like they once were. They won’t even be seen by most people.
- Modern hearing aids contain a huge amount of technology. Thanks to connectivity, for example, your hearing aids will pair seamlessly with your phone or even your TV speakers. This provides amplified volumes without noise or feedback.
For many individuals, hearing aids feel like an extension of their smartphones or tablets. In this modern world, hearing aids are extremely practical and will help you enjoy activities such as live streaming.
Promote 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. To put it bluntly, hearing is critical to a person’s cognitive health.
The sooner you treat your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep in the long run. When you have hearing loss, your ears have a difficult time processing specific wavelengths and hearing aids are calibrated to fill in those missing frequencies. When you simply turn the volume up you don’t fill in the specific missing frequencies.
Recognizing that your hearing can be preserved by getting treatment when you first notice signs of hearing impairment will help people like Ted feel comfortable seeking the help they need.