Watching sports with Ted is incredibly frustrating. He has the volume turned up so loud the walls rattle, and you definitely can’t pay attention 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 in any way pleasant. But the volume sounds fine for Ted. He needs the TV to be tremendously loud so he can hear it, which makes it pretty obvious he needs a hearing aid. You’re just not sure how to talk to him that. It should be a straightforward discussion, but he seems overly sensitive about the topic.
These tips are a good place to start.
Encourage a Simple Exam
Ted needs an expert to inform him about his hearing. Other people may not sound as credible when they tell him about it. In that situation, the strategy will be getting Ted (or anyone like him) to come see us.
One of the following tactics might help you do that:
- Offer to get a screening with him. This can make starting the dialogue easier. It’s possible you’ll learn that you’ve experienced some hearing loss, also (it may depend on how long you’ve been subjected to a high-volume noise).
- Emphasize that he’ll only be having a simple screening. In the vast majority of cases, hearing screenings are fast and easy. Ted will receive his results on an audiogram, which will break down his hearing by frequency. We can clarify what the results indicate.
Talk About Behaviors Associated With Hearing Loss
Hearing loss happens slowly, often progressing so slowly it’s unnoticeable. Certain subconscious behaviors often develop when this happens. By focusing your discussion on those behaviors, you can subtly (or not so subtly) hint that Ted (or someone like him) needs a hearing aid.
Try something like the following:
- Mention that you’ve observed how often you’re “translating” for him. Here’s a hypothetical example: somebody is talking to Ted but you’re closer and Ted needs you to constantly repeat what was said because he can’t understand them.
- You could tell him your family has observed he’s been having a difficult time hearing. Perhaps that’s why fewer individuals are going to his house to watch the Big Game each year, they have a difficult time dealing with the loud television.
- Make him aware that he’s not using the phone as much as he once did because he has a hard time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
The goal during these talks is to keep your discussion focused on these behaviors rather than the ailment. Instead of talking about how Ted is experiencing hearing loss, mention how his hearing loss effects people in his life.
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 impact one’s personal appearance. It may not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology employed by contemporary hearing aids.
Here are some examples:
- Some hearing aids have additional features, including the ability to translate in real-time or track key biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- The technology of modern hearing aids is very advanced. Your hearing aid will connect wirelessly with your phone, TV, and other smart devices by way of Bluetooth® connectivity. This provides amplified volumes without feedback or noise.
- Modern hearing aids are generally very small and almost completely imperceptible to the naked eye. That’s not all, modern hearing aids are exceptionally comfortable for the wearer. They’re not bulky like they once were. They won’t even be noticed by most people.
For many people, hearing aids feel like an extension of their smartphones or tablets. Modern hearing aids are exceptionally helpful pieces of technology that help you enjoy live streaming.
Promote The Long-Term Advantages
Lastly, it’s worth taking time to point out the long-term advantages of hearing aids, which have been demonstrated to help people keep (or recover) their cognitive faculties. In other words, your brain health depends on you being capable of hearing clearly.
The sooner you address your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep in the long run. When you have hearing loss, your ears have a difficult time processing specific wavelengths and hearing aids are calibrated to fill in those missing frequencies. When you simply turn the volume up you don’t fill in the particular missing frequencies.
Getting treatment as soon as you begin experiencing hearing loss can help save your hearing, and understanding that will help convince people like Ted to seek help.