Watching sports with Ted is extremely difficult. He has the volume turned up so loud the walls shake, and you certainly can’t tune in to the game. The announcer’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the earsplitting thunder of the crowd.
It isn’t at all pleasant. But for Ted, it’s a normal volume. He needs the TV to be tremendously loud so he can hear it, which makes it rather obvious he needs a hearing aid. How to discuss this with him is the difficulty. His sensitivity about the subject makes what should be a straightforward conversation much more difficult.
The following are a few recommendations that may help.
Suggest a Basic Screening
Ted has to find out more about his hearing from an expert. He might not trust other people when they tell him he needs a hearing aid. If that’s the case, the trick will be convincing Ted (or anyone like him) to come see us.
You may be able to do that by using one of the following tactics:
- Stress that he’ll only be undergoing a quick screening. In most cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. Ted will receive his results on an audiogram, which will analyze his hearing by frequency. We can clarify what the results indicate.
- Offer to get a screening with him. This can make starting the conversation easier. You may find out that you also have some level of hearing impairment (depending on how long you’ve been subjected to loud noise).
Talk About Behaviors Associated With Hearing Loss
Hearing loss takes place gradually, often progressing so slowly it’s unnoticeable. Certain subconscious behaviors often develop when this happens. You can hint in a subtle way that Ted needs a hearing aid by putting attention on these behaviors.
Try some of these strategies:
- You could tell him your family has observed he’s been having a hard time hearing. Perhaps that’s why fewer people are going to his house to watch the Big Game each year, they have a hard time dealing with the loud television.
- Point out situations where you have to translate what someone said. Here’s a hypothetical example: your friend says something at dinner, Ted doesn’t hear or understand it, and you need to repeat what they said to Ted because you’re closer to him.
- Make him aware that he’s not talking on the phone as much as he used to because he has a difficult time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
When you have these discussions focusing on these behaviors, not the condition, will be the goal. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, mention how his hearing loss effects people in his life.
Highlight The Technology in Modern Hearing Aids
Sometimes, reticence to wearing hearing aids comes from outdated (but understandable) impressions of what hearing aids do and how they influence one’s personal appearance. It may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology used by modern hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- Some hearing aids can even track your health and fitness biometrics and render them in real time as well as other additional features.
- Typically, modern hearing aids are so small you can’t even see them. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They aren’t the big and cumbersome units they used to be. They won’t even be noticed by most people.
- The technology of modern hearing aids is pretty advanced. Thanks to connectivity, for instance, your hearing aids will pair easily with your phone or even your TV speakers. This delivers amplified volumes without feedback or noise.
For many individuals, hearing aids feel like an extension of their smartphones or tablets. In this modern world, hearing aids are extremely useful and will help you enjoy activities such as live streaming.
Highlight The Long-Term Advantages
Finally, take the time to emphasize the connection between hearing loss and mental health decline. Essentially, your brain health depends on you being capable of hearing clearly.
You will keep more of your hearing undamaged in the long run if you manage your hearing loss as soon as you can. When you have hearing impairment, your ears have a hard time processing specific wavelengths and hearing aids are calibrated to fill in those missing frequencies. Simply turning your television volume up is no substitute for this valuable technology.
Getting treatment as soon as you begin noticing hearing loss can help save your hearing, and knowing that will help convince people like Ted to seek help.