McDonnell Hearing Solutions, LLC

Husband talking to his wife about her hearing loss and how to get help.

If you discover someone you love is suffering from hearing loss what should be done. It’s not an easy subject to talk about because commonly those who are gradually losing their hearing don’t realize it. No one is benefited by neglecting this frustrating problem. The things you do now will better the lives of your parent, spouse, sibling or friend and it begins with finding a way to discuss it. To help get you there, consider these tips.

If You Want to be Able to Explain it Better, do The Research

Firstly, you need to understand what is going on yourself so you can describe it. When you grow older your risk of suffering from hearing loss raises. About one in every three people suffer from some amount of hearing reduction by the time they are 74 and greater than half suffer from it after they reach the age of 75.

The scientific term for this type of ear damage is presbycusis. The effect is gradual and usually affects both ears equally. Most likely this person started losing some hearing years before anybody recognized it.

Persbyscusis happens for several reasons. Simply put, many years of hearing sound eventually breaks down the fragile mechanism of the inner ear, particularly the tiny hair cells. Electrical signals are generated that go to the brain. The brain gets the signals and translates them into what you know as sound. Those hairs are an essential element of hearing.

The impact of chronic illnesses like:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

Each one can injure the ear and reduce hearing.

Set a Date

It’s not only important what you say but also where you decide to say it. The best choice is to set something up so the two of you can get together and have a talk. It’s important not to be disturbed so select a private place. Bring along whatever written material you can on the subject too. Presbycusis might be explained in a brochure that you can obtain from a doctor, for example.

Talk About the Whys

The reaction you can expect at first is for the person to be defensive. Because it is associated with aging, hearing loss can be a delicate matter. It’s hard to acknowledge that you are growing older. Older people fight to stay in control of their everyday lives and they may think poor hearing challenges that freedom.

Be prepared to offer particulars as to how you know they have some hearing problems.

Mention that you need to keep repeating yourself during conversations, too. Don’t make it sound like you’re complaining, keep it casual. Be patient and sympathetic as you put everything into perspective.

Now it’s Time to Listen

Be ready to sit back and listen after you have said what needs to be said. Your family member might have noticed some changes and may have other worries but doesn’t know what to do. In order to help them come to a realization about their hearing loss, ask questions that encourage them to keep talking.

Talk About the Support System

Getting past the fear that comes with hearing loss is going to be the toughest challenge. Many people feel alone with their condition and don’t understand they have family and friends on the other side. Remind them of how other family members have found ways to cope with the same problem.

Be Prepared to Offer Solutions

The most significant part of this talk is going to be what should be done next. Make your loved one aware that hearing loss isn’t the end of the world. There are plenty of tools available to help, including hearing aids. Today’s hearing aids are modern and sleek. They come with features that improve the quality of life and come in many shapes and sizes. Show them some literature on a computer or brochure detailing the different devices that are available.

Seeing a doctor is the first step. Some hearing loss goes away. Rule out earwax build up or medication side effects that could be causing your issue by getting an ear exam. Then the doctor can set up a hearing test, and you can go from there.

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