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

A person you love has hearing loss, now what? Normally, people who have slow loss of hearing don’t recognize it so that makes it a hard subject to approach. It’s a frustrating problem for the whole family and ignoring it isn’t the way to go. The things you do now will improve the lives of your parent, spouse, sibling or friend and it starts with discovering a way to discuss it. Think about these tips to help get you there.

Do the Research

You need to comprehend the issue first before you are able to clarify it. The risks of hearing loss become greater as people grow older. About one person out of every three suffer from some amount of hearing reduction by the time they reach the age of 74 and more than half suffer from it after the age of 75.

The technical term for this type of ear damage is presbycusis. The effect is gradual and usually affects both ears equally. Years before anyone noticed, it’s likely that this person started losing their hearing.

Persbyscusis happens for numerous reasons. Basically, decades of hearing sound eventually breaks down the fragile mechanism of the inner ear, specifically the tiny hair cells. Electrical signals are created which go to the brain. The brain gets the message and translates them into what you know as sound. Those hairs are an essential factor of hearing.

The impact of chronic illnesses like:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure

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

Set 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 the best bet. Select a setting that is quiet and guarantees you won’t be interrupted. Bringing written material on the topic is also very helpful. Presbycusis might be explained in a brochure that you can get from a doctor, for example.

Talk About the Whys

Expect this person to be a little defensive. Hearing loss is a delicate subject because it is associated with growing old. It’s tough to accept that you are growing older. Older people struggle to stay in control of their everyday lives and they may believe poor hearing challenges that freedom.

Be prepared to provide 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. Keep the talk casual and don’t make it sound like you are complaining. 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 may express concerns or say they have recognized some changes but didn’t know what to do. Ask questions that can encourage this person to keep talking about what they’re going through to help make it real to them.

Let Them Know They Have a Support System

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

Be Prepared to Offer Solutions

The most crucial part of this conversation is going to be what should be done next. Let your loved one know that hearing loss is not the end of the world. There are a lot of available tools including hearing aids which can be helpful. Today’s hearing aids are modern and sleek. They come in all sizes and shapes and with features that improve the quality of life. If you can bring a tablet, use a computer or have some brochures that show the different devices which are now available.

Finally, recommend that the first place to begin is at the doctor’s office. Some hearing loss is temporary. Rule out earwax build up or medication side effects that might be causing your issue by getting an ear exam. A hearing exam can then be set up and you will know for sure.