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

What is the best thing to do when you realize that a loved one is suffering from hearing loss? Hearing loss frequently goes undetected by those who have it and that makes it much more difficult to bring up. Ignoring this frustrating problem is not helpful for anyone involved. Find a way to talk about it with your loved one as soon as possible so that their life can be bettered. To help get you there, think about these strategies.

Study More so You Can Explain it Better

Outlining the issue is much less difficult if you first comprehend it. The risks of hearing loss become greater as people grow older. About one person out of every three have some amount of hearing loss by the time they are 74 and more than half suffer from it after they reach the age of 75.

The scientific term for this type of ear damage is presbycusis. It generally happens in both ears equally, and the effect is gradual. Most likely this person began losing some hearing years before anyone noticed.

There are numerous reasons presbycusis occurs. The most basic reason for age-related hearing loss is that years of sound takes its toll on the delicate mechanisms of the ear, particularly the tiny hair cells. These hair cells create electrical signals that go to the brain. The brain receives the signals and translates them into what you know as sound. Hearing is not possible without those little hairs.

The following chronic illnesses can also play a role:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure

Hearing is impaired and the ear can be injured by all of these.

Make a Date

The place where you decide to talk to your loved one is equally as important as what you say. Setting something up so you can have a talk is the best bet. To ensure you won’t be interrupted, select a quiet venue. Bring along any literature you can on the topic too. Presbycusis may be discussed in a brochure that you can get from a doctor, as an example.

Talk About the Whys

The response 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. Senior citizens fight to stay in control of their everyday lives and they might believe poor hearing challenges that freedom.

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

Remind them how often they ask you and others to repeat what they said. Don’t make it sound like you’re complaining, keep it casual. Be patient and understanding as you put everything into perspective.

Now it’s Time to Listen

Be ready to sit back and listen once you have said what needs to be said. Your family member might share concerns or say they have noticed some changes but were unsure what they should do. To help them come to a realization about their hearing loss, ask questions which motivate them to keep talking.

Let Them Know They Have a Support System

Hearing loss comes with a lot of fear and that might be difficult to get past. Many people don’t understand that they have family and friends on their side and feel isolated with their condition. Talk to them about others in the family who have had similar experiences and how they found ways to live with hearing loss.

Be Prepared to Offer Solutions

The most important part of this talk is going to be what should be done next. Hearing loss is not the end of the world so let your loved one know that. There are plenty of tools available to help, such as hearing aids. Today’s hearing aids are modern and sleek. They come with features that improve the quality of life and come in all shapes and sizes. Show them some literature on a computer or brochure detailing the different devices that are available.

Going to the doctor is the first step. Not all hearing loss is permanent. Rule out earwax build up or medication side effects that may be causing your issue by getting an ear exam. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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