Most cases of hearing loss are so gradual the individual is not even aware of it and it is often loved ones who are the first to notice a change.
Unaddressed Hearing Loss can lead to social isolation
Watching someone you care about miss out on conversations with friends & family and withdraw from activities they previously enjoyed can be upsetting. On average, people wait 10 years before seeking help about their hearing, the faster a hearing loss is identified the sooner steps can be taken to address it.
Recognising Hearing Loss
Common signs that may indicate a reduction in hearing include watching TV at a higher volume, misunderstanding conversations and asking for things to be repeated more frequently.
Talking about suspected Hearing Loss
Hearing can be a sensitive topic; many people are not ready to accept they have a hearing loss. We have all heard people say, ‘it’s not my hearing, you’re mumbling’ or ‘I hear as much as I want to hear’, so it is important to be patient and empathetic.
Choose the right time and place
It can be very tempting to bring up hearing loss as and when it occurs but a situation where your loved one is already struggling to hear is not the best location for this conversation. Choose somewhere quiet and comfortable where you can talk face to face.
Plan what you are going to say
It is very easy for feelings of frustration to prevent a productive discussion about hearing loss, especially if it has been an ongoing issue. Address your concerns in a supportive manner by avoiding statements like ‘I had to tell you three times…’ and instead, using phrases like ‘I’ve noticed I have to repeat what I say more often….’
Encourage a visit with an Audiologist
If your loved one has reservations about getting their hearing checked, let them voice their concerns and offer a compromise. Booking an appointment for a hearing assessment can be a big step and while it does not replace a professional hearing test, our Online Hearing Screener can indicate if someone would benefit from a face to face appointment with an Audiologist.
To try our Online Hearing Screener please click here
If your loved one agrees to booking a hearing assessment, offer to go to the Audiologist with them for support.
Focus on the benefits of getting help
If a hearing loss is identified, the Audiologist will outline the most appropriate hearing solutions for your loved ones listening needs. You can show encouragement by taking notes, asking questions and engaging with your loved one about the scenarios in which they would enjoy improved hearing.
If you would like to find out more about hearing assessments or hearing aids, contact us on 028 9066 7030