Talking with a loved one about hearing loss
How to help those you care about get the help they need
You can make a difference
Hearing loss doesn’t just affect the person who has it. It also affects spouses, family members and friends. From frustration with having to repeat things over and over to heartbreak at seeing someone you care about isolate themselves from the people and activities they love, the negative effects of hearing loss cast a wide net.
Convincing a loved one to seek help is the right thing to do, but is not always easy. This site provides some dos and don’ts to help you approach this important subject.
Don’t be SURPRISED if you get Resistance
Unlike eyesight, when hearing goes, people are in less of a hurry to do something about it — with many waiting five to seven years before finally seeking treatment. Be prepared for pushback with these responses.
My family doctor would have told me if I have hearing loss.
Not True - less than 20% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during physicals.
Wearing a hearing aid will make my hearing loss obvious.
Today’s hearing aids are sleek and stylish or even invisible and certainly less noticeable than if you constantly ask people to repeat themselves, inappropriately respond, or don’t respond at all.
A Little Hearing loss is no big deal
The fact is, studies have linked untreated hearing loss to big deals like stress, depression, social rejection, increased risk to personal safety, reduced earning power and more.*
What you can do:
Talk to your friend about their hearing concerns
- Gently remind them of their loss every time you “translate” or repeat something for them
- Recommend they visit a hearing professional to do more research and get their questions answered
- Offer to schedule and attend a hearing consultation with them
- Remind them they have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain by seeing a hearing professional
For more ideas on how to help, talk to a hearing healthcare professional at Bartlett's Hearing Aid Centers.