Hearing loss can sneak up on a person. It can develop slowly for years, and often people aren’t aware they are experiencing it at first. Some early signs a person may be struggling with hearing loss include:
- Frequently asking people to repeat themselves. Especially in louder environments or situations where multiple people are speaking.
- Listening to music or the television at a higher volume than anyone else needs.
- Complaining that everyone seems to mumble.
- Trouble hearing during phone conversations.
Hearing loss can be difficult for the person experiencing it. It can also be very hard on loved ones. It can be especially frustrating if the person with hearing loss does not seem eager to treat their hearing loss.
Hearing loss can take a toll on relationships. Research published in The Hearing Review interviewed people with hearing loss as well as their partners to learn how hearing loss impacted their relationships. They found that having a partner or loved one with hearing loss can contribute to “feelings of frustration, embarrassment, and distress for the partner and for the relationship in general.”
Reasons Why People Put Off Getting a Hearing Test
Though it’s frustrating, it’s important to have empathy for your loved one with hearing loss. There might be several reasons they are reluctant to seek help.
- They are afraid that needing hearing aids will make them look old, or less capable.
- They are worried hearing aids will be too big and awkward looking.
- They don’t realize their hearing loss is a problem.
- They think hearing loss is just part of aging and nothing needs to be done about it.
- They are worried seeking treatment will be too expensive.
Knowing some of the reasons your loved one might be wary of getting help for their hearing loss can help you empathize with their situation.
Other Ways to Help
- Do your research on hearing loss and hearing aids and encourage them to do the same. This can help alleviate some of their fears about seeking treatment and help them make an informed decision.
- Talk to them about how their hearing loss has affected you. Tell them it frustrates you when you have to repeat yourself frequently in conversations. Tell them you’re concerned they won’t be able to fully engage in social events like dinner with friends at Woodblock.
- Offer to schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist and go with them.
- Remind them of all the possible benefits of treating their hearing loss.
If you have additional questions about hearing loss or wish to schedule an appointment, contact Evergreen Speech and Hearing today.