Watching sports with Ted is very frustrating. He has the volume cranked up so high the walls shake, and you definitely can’t pay attention to the game. The announcer’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the deafening roar of the crowd.
It isn’t in any way enjoyable. But for Ted, it’s a normal volume. Everything has to be at max volume in order for him to hear it, making it rather obvious that it’s time to think about hearing aids. How to discuss this with him is the challenge. It should be a simple discussion, but he seems overly sensitive about the topic.
The following are some tips that may help.
Encourage a Basic Screening
Ted needs a specialist to inform him about his hearing. Other people might not seem as credible when they tell him about it. 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 with him. This can make starting the dialogue easier. It’s possible you’ll discover that you’ve experienced some hearing loss, too (it may 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 screening. In most cases, hearing screenings are fast and easy. Ted will get his results on an audiogram, which will analyze his hearing by frequency. We can detail what the results mean.
Talk About Behaviors Associated With Hearing Loss
Hearing loss takes place gradually, often advancing so slowly it’s unnoticeable. Certain subconscious behaviors often develop when this occurs. 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 some of these strategies:
- Informing him that his family has noticed him straining to hear. Each year it seems as if fewer and fewer people are going over to see the Big Game and that could be because the TV is so loud.
- Point out that he’s been evading talking to friends and family members by phone because he has trouble hearing what’s being said.
- Mention that you’ve noticed how frequently you’re “translating” for him. It might happen like this: someone is talking to Ted but you’re closer and Ted needs you to constantly repeat what was said because he can’t hear them.
The goal during these talks is to keep your discussion focused on these behaviors rather than the ailment. Instead of talking about how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, mention how his hearing loss impacts those around him.
Emphasize The Technology in Contemporary Hearing Aids
In some cases, reticence to wearing hearing aids comes from outdated (but understandable) ideas of what hearing aids do and how they impact one’s personal appearance. It might 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 quite advanced. Your hearing aid will connect wirelessly with your phone, TV, and other smart devices thanks to Bluetooth® connectivity. This delivers amplified volumes without noise or feedback.
- Some hearing aids have extra features, such as the ability to translate in real-time or track important biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- Modern hearing aids are typically incredibly small and almost totally imperceptible to the naked eye. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They aren’t the big and bulky units of the past. They won’t even be seen by most people.
Hearing aids, for many people, are an ideal 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 point out the connection between hearing loss and mental health decline. Essentially, your brain health depends on you being capable of hearing clearly.
The sooner you treat your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep over time. Hearing aids are calibrated specifically to fill in the sound wavelengths which your ears have a difficult time discerning. When you simply turn up the volume you don’t fill in the particular frequencies that are missing.
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 seeking the help they need.