Football games with Ted are miserable. Paying attention to the game is impossible because the volume is turned up so loud that the walls rattle. All you can hear is the thunder of the crowd pounding against your body, punctuated by the ear-shattering staccato of the commentator’s play-by-play calls.
It isn’t by any means enjoyable. But the volume sounds fine for Ted. He requires the TV to be incredibly loud so he can hear it, which makes it rather obvious he needs a hearing aid. How to talk to him about it is the challenge. His sensitivity about the topic makes what should be a simple conversation a lot more difficult.
These tips are a good place to begin.
Recommend a Basic Screening
Ted needs an expert to inform him about his hearing. Other people may not sound as credible when they tell him about it. If that’s the case, the trick will be getting Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
You may be able to do that by making use of one of the following tactics:
- Suggest the two of you go together for back-to-back screenings. This can make beginning the dialogue easier. It’s possible you’ll discover that you’ve experienced some hearing loss, also (depending on how long you’ve been exposed to loud noise).
- Stress that he’ll only be undergoing a quick assessment. In most cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. His hearing will be categorized by frequency on an audiogram. The significance of the information can then be clarified by us.
Discuss Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss happens gradually, often advancing so slowly it’s unnoticeable. Certain subconscious behaviors often develop when this happens. By focusing your conversation on those behaviors, you can subtly (or not so subtly) hint that Ted (or somebody like him) needs a hearing aid.
Try something like the following:
- Point out that you’ve observed how frequently you’re “translating” for him. Here’s a hypothetical example: someone is talking to Ted but you’re closer and Ted needs you to keep repeating what was said because he can’t understand them.
- You could tell him your family has noticed he’s been having a tough time hearing. Each year it seems as if fewer and fewer people are going over to see the Big Game and that could be because the TV is so loud.
- Make him aware that he’s not using the phone as much as he once did because he has a difficult time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
The goal during these talks is to keep your discussion centered on these behaviors instead of the disorder. Instead of talking about how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, mention how his hearing loss effects those around him.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
Antiquated ideas of how a hearing aid impacts your appearance and what hearing aids do, in some cases, leads to reticence to wear one. It might not be a bad idea to emphasize the innovative technology employed by modern hearing aids.
The following are some examples:
- The technology of modern hearing aids is quite advanced. Thanks to connectivity, for example, your hearing aids will pair seamlessly with your phone or even your TV speakers. This delivers amplified volumes without feedback or noise.
- Some hearing aids have additional features, such as the ability to translate in real-time or track important biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- Modern hearing aids are generally extremely small and almost entirely unseen to the naked eye. Not only that, modern hearing aids are incredibly comfortable for the wearer. They aren’t the big and cumbersome units they used to be. Most people will most likely never detect you’re wearing them.
For many people, hearing aids feel like an extension of their smartphones or tablets. Modern hearing aids are very helpful pieces of technology that allow you to enjoy live streaming.
Promote The Long-Term Advantages
Lastly, it’s worth taking time to mention the long-term benefits of hearing aids, which have been shown to help people keep (or recover) their cognitive faculties. Essentially, your brain health depends on you being able to hear clearly.
The sooner you treat your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep in the long run. Hearing aids are calibrated specifically to fill in the sound wavelengths your ears have a difficult time discerning. When you simply turn the volume up you don’t fill in the specific frequencies that are missing.
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.