Football games with Ted are the worst. He has the volume cranked up so loud the walls rattle, and you certainly can’t tune in to the game. The commentator’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the earsplitting thunder of the crowd.
It isn’t fun. But for Ted, the volume is normal. He needs the TV to be tremendously loud so he can hear it, which makes it pretty clear he needs a hearing aid. How to discuss this with him is the challenge. It should be a simple conversation, but he seems overly sensitive about the topic.
These tips are a good place to begin.
Encourage a Basic Screening
Ted needs to find out more about his hearing from a specialist. Other people may not seem as credible when they tell him about it. If that’s the case, the strategy will be convincing Ted (or anyone like him) to come see us.
One of the following tactics might help you do that:
- Suggest that both of you go together for back-to-back assessments. This can make starting the dialogue easier. You might find out that you also have some degree of hearing impairment (it may depend on how long you’ve been exposed to a high-volume sound).
- Emphasize that he’ll only be having a basic assessment. In the vast majority of cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. His hearing will be broken down by frequency on an audiogram. We can clarify what the results mean.
Comment on Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss occurs gradually, often advancing so slowly it’s not noticeable. Certain subconscious behaviors frequently develop when this occurs. By concentrating your discussion on those behaviors, you can subtly (or not so subtly) hint that Ted (or somebody like him) needs a hearing aid.
Try some of these approaches:
- Point out instances where you have to translate what someone said. It may happen like this: someone is talking to Ted but you’re closer and Ted needs you to constantly repeat what was said because he can’t hear them.
- Letting him know that his family has noticed him struggling to hear. Maybe that’s why fewer individuals are going to his house to watch the Big Game each year, they have a hard time coping with the loud television.
- Point out that he’s been avoiding talking to family members and friends by phone because he has trouble hearing what’s being said.
When you have these talks focusing on these behaviors, not the disorder, will be the goal. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, mention how his hearing loss impacts those around him.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
In some cases, reluctance to wearing hearing aids comes from antiquated (but understandable) notions of what hearing aids do and how they affect one’s personal appearance. It might not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology utilized by modern hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- Usually, contemporary hearing aids are so small you can’t even notice them. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They’re not bulky like they once were. Most people will most likely never notice you’re wearing them.
- Some hearing aids have extra features, including the ability to translate in real-time or track important biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- Modern hearing aids contain a huge amount of technology. Thanks to connectivity, for instance, your hearing aids will pair seamlessly with your phone or even your TV speakers. This delivers amplified volumes without feedback or noise.
Hearing aids, for many individuals, are a perfect extension to their other smart technology. In this modern world, hearing aids are extremely practical and will help you enjoy activities such as live streaming.
Highlight The Long-Term Benefits
Lastly, it’s worth taking time to point out the long-term benefits of hearing aids, which have been demonstrated to help people keep (or recover) their cognitive faculties. Essentially, your brain health depends on you being able to hear clearly.
You will keep more of your hearing undamaged in the long run if you address your hearing loss as soon as possible. Hearing aids are calibrated specifically to fill in the sound wavelengths which your ears have a hard time discerning. Simply turning up your TV isn’t a substitute for this valuable technology.
Understanding that your hearing can be preserved by getting treatment when you first observe signs of hearing loss will help people like Ted feel comfortable seeking the help they need.