Ask the Audiologist: How do you tell somebody they have hearing loss, and should try hearing aids?

August 2, 2017    Ask the Audiologist

Ask the Audiologist: How do you tell somebody they have hearing loss, and should try hearing aids?

It is not easy talking with a family member, friend, or co-worker about hearing loss. Bringing up the conversation can heighten emotions especially if there is denial or fear. Hearing loss usually happens gradually and often starts to interfere with relationships. It wears on the other person because it requires frequent repetition. The person with hearing loss often blames others “for not speaking up” or “mumbling”. More than two-thirds of people who refuse hearing aids think their hearing “isn’t that bad”. When having this conversation it is important to have compassion and come from a place of love and concern. Don’t lose sight of the purpose of the conversation---you want what is best for them. Timing is important. Avoid bringing up the subject at a time of stress or when there will be interruptions. Focus on relationships and how hearing loss is affecting their life. (“Your granddaughter misses talking to you on the telephone”). Lastly, ask the person how you can help. Suggest a hearing evaluation with an audiologist. Hearing aids can be the greatest gift for everyone! Today, they are small, discreet, and have amazing technology. Encourage treatment sooner than later. It will pay off !