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

A person you love has hearing loss, now what should you do? Usually, people who suffer from slow hearing loss don’t recognize it so that makes it a hard subject to talk about. Ignoring this frustrating issue is not helpful for anyone involved. Your loved one’s life will be improved by the choices you make now so don’t wait to find a way to discuss it. To help get you there, consider these guidelines.

Do the Research

You need to understand the issue first if you want to be able to clarify it. When you get older your risk of suffering from hearing loss raises. About one in every three people suffer from some level of hearing loss by the time they are 74 and more than half have it after the age of 75.

Presbycusis is the medical name for this form of ear damage. The effect is gradual and normally affects both ears similarly. This hearing loss most likely started years before it was detected.

Persbyscusis happens for many reasons. The simplest explanation for age-related hearing loss is that decades of sound eventually breaks down delicate mechanisms of the ear, especially the little hair cells. Electrical signals are generated that go to the brain. The brain receives 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
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

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

Make a Date

It’s not only important what you say but also where you decide to say it. Setting something up so you can have a conversation is your best bet. Find a place that is quiet and ensures you won’t be interrupted. Bringing written material on the topic can be quite helpful. For example, the doctor may have a brochure that clarifies presbycusis.

Talk About the Whys

The response you can expect right away is for the person to be defensive. Hearing loss is a sensitive topic because it is associated with getting old. It’s tough to accept that you are getting older. Poor hearing may challenge the elderly’s belief that they are in control of their day-to-day lives.

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

Mention that you need to keep repeating yourself while having conversations, too. Don’t make it sound like you’re complaining, keep it casual. As you comprehend and put everything into perspective, be patient.

Be Prepared to Listen

After you have said what you need to, be ready to settle-back and listen. Your family member might have noticed some changes and could have other worries but doesn’t know what to do. Ask questions that will encourage this person to continue talking about what they’re going through to help make it real to them.

Talk About the Support System

The biggest challenge is going to be going beyond the fear that comes with hearing loss. Many people don’t realize that they have friends and family on their side and feel alone with their condition. Talk about others in the family that have had similar experiences and how they found ways to live with hearing loss.

Be Prepared to Offer Solutions

What to do next is going to be the most crucial part of the discussion. Let your loved one know that hearing loss is not the end of the world. There are a lot of available tools such as hearing aids which can be helpful. Much more sleek and modern hearing aids are currently available. They come in all sizes and shapes and with features that improve the quality of life. Show them some literature on a computer or brochure detailing the different devices that are available.

Finally, suggest that the first place to start is at the doctor’s office. Not all hearing loss is permanent. Rule out earwax build up or medication side effects that may be causing your problem by getting an ear exam. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.

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