With more than 48 million Americans experiencing hearing loss, chances are high that someone you love may be living with the condition. Hearing loss is hard for everyone involved. So how do you let your loved one know you are there for them while guiding them toward getting the treatment they need? Follow the three steps outlined below.
Experts estimate that it takes an average of seven years between learning you have hearing loss to finally seeking treatment. During this time, a person must accept their current deficiency and the fact that they will need treatment in order to live their best life. But admitting this to themselves can be challenging.
- Learning new communication strategies
- Asking what they need from you
- Going with them to appointments
Trying to carry on a conversation with someone who has hearing loss can be frustrating, especially when they can’t seem to understand what you are saying. Instead of shouting at them, remember that they are not intentionally trying to make communication more difficult.
Take a deep breath and be patient. Instead of repeating what you are saying over and over at a louder volume, try rephrasing and speaking more clearly.
The only way to get the right treatment for hearing loss is to see a professional. While your loved one may put this off and insist they are fine, you know they are not. Even if they don’t listen to your suggestion to meet with an audiologist the first time, keep trying. And when they finally do concede and agree to go, offer to accompany them to this appointment.
This is also applicable if your loved one has hearing aids but chooses not to wear them. Insist that they wear their device and refuse to repeat yourself until they do. And find out why they do not like wearing their hearing aid. If they don’t think the device works well, their hearing may have gotten worse and the device simply needs to be adjusted. If the hearing aid is uncomfortable, they may not be used to it yet. Wearing a hearing aid should not be painful. If this is the case, they should schedule an appointment with an audiologist. They may need to fit the hearing aid to you loved one’s ear or change to another model that is more comfortable.
To learn more about helping your loved one seek treatment or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, contact Indiana Hearing Specialists today.