On average, it takes a person 7 years of suffering through hearing loss before seeking treatment. Many people are reluctant to accept that they have hearing loss and it can be extremely difficult to talk to your loved one about this subject.
Treating hearing loss early-on is important and allows your loved one to more easily adapt to life with hearing aids. If your loved one suffers from hearing loss, talk to her/him soon and encourage a hearing evaluation. Here are our top tips for broaching this conversation with your loved one.
Create the Optimal Environment
Find a quiet, well-lit place without distractions or background noise. This will minimize distractions and enable both of you to concentrate on your discussion.
Speak From Your Heart
This may be a difficult topic to have a conversation about, so start by emphasizing that you really care for your loved one and that you want the best for them for their quality-of-life experiences. When you come from your heart center your loved one is more likely to listen to your concerns.
Stick To The Facts
Hearing loss can affect individuals of all ages and in many different ways. The most common symptoms of hearing loss include:
- Hard to hear the television at the same level as the rest of the family
- Hard to hear the minister in church
- Hard to hear other family members’ conversations, especially ladies and children with higher-pitch voices
- Ringing or buzzing in their ears = Tinnitus
Even further, it is important to bring up that hearing loss affects more than just your ability to hear. Johns Hopkins conducted a study in 2017 that concluded that hearing loss is associated with accelerated cognitive decline – 30-40% greater than those without hearing loss. The longer hearing loss goes untreated, the higher the risk for cognitive decline.
Encourage A Hearing Test
Once you’ve stated your case, don’t rush to define a set diagnosis. This is where an evaluation from a professional comes into play. These evaluations are simple and encouraged for anyone over 50 as part of their annual check-up.
If your loved one is hesitant to have a hearing evaluation, encourage a hearing screening. Hearing screenings are short, simple tests that can determine if you have a hearing loss and need further evaluation.
CSHC offers complimentary hearing screenings in both our Charlotte and Monroe offices. And we also offer a free online hearing screening tool that allows you to check your hearing at home in less than 5 minutes! All you need is a device with internet access (i.e. cell phone, tablet, laptop, desktop computer, etc.) and headphones or earbuds. Access our screening tool at https://www.shoeboxonline.com/charlottespeechhearing/.
Hearing loss is common and easy to address, so encourage your loved one to get evaluated asap! At CSHC, our sincere goal is to help your family to hear better and to have wonderful communications. We are grateful for the opportunity to help you now and into the foreseeable future!
Article written by Ron Binkley, Board-certified Hearing Instrument Specialist for Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center