Watching sports with Ted is incredibly difficult. Paying attention to the game is impossible because the volume is cranked up so loud that the walls rattle. The commentator’s play-by-play calls are an ear shattering staccato against the earsplitting roar of the crowd.
It’s not pleasant. But for Ted, the volume is normal. Everything needs to be at max volume for him to be able to hear it, making it rather obvious that it’s time to consider hearing aids. How to discuss this with him is the problem. It should be a simple conversation, but he seems overly sensitive about the topic.
These tips are a good place to begin.
Suggest a Simple Screening
Ted needs a specialist to educate him about his hearing. Other people may not seem as credible when they talk to him about it. If that’s the case, the trick will be convincing Ted (or anyone like him) to come see us.
One of the following strategies might help you do that:
- Emphasize that he’ll only be having a simple screening. In the vast majority of cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. His hearing will be categorized by frequency on an audiogram. We can clarify what the results indicate.
- Suggest the two of you go together for back-to-back screenings. This can make beginning the dialogue easier. You may discover that you also have some degree of hearing loss (depending on how long you’ve been exposed to loud noise).
Talk About Behaviors Linked To Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is often indiscernible because it progresses so slowly. Certain subconscious behaviors often develop when this occurs. By concentrating your conversation 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:
- Informing him that his family has observed him straining to hear. Each year it seems as if fewer and fewer people are going over to watch the Big Game and that could be because the TV is so loud.
- Point out instances where you need to translate what somebody said. Here’s a hypothetical example: your friend says something at dinner, Ted doesn’t hear or comprehend it, and you have to repeat the sentence to Ted because you’re closer to him.
- Point out that he’s been evading talking to family members and friends on the phone because he has trouble hearing what’s being said.
When you have these conversations focusing on these behaviors, not the condition, will be the goal. Instead of talking about how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, point out how his hearing loss effects those around him.
Highlight The Technology in Contemporary Hearing Aids
In some instances, reluctance to using 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 modern hearing aids.
The following are some examples:
- Some hearing aids have extra features, like the ability to translate in real-time or track important biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- Typically, modern hearing aids are so small you can’t even see them. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They’re not cumbersome like they once were. They won’t even be noticed by most people.
- Modern hearing aids contain an incredible amount of technology. Thanks to connectivity, for example, your hearing aids will pair seamlessly with your phone or even your TV speakers. With this tech, the volume of your devices will be increased without noise and feedback.
Hearing aids, for many people, are an ideal extension to their other smart technology. In this modern world, hearing aids are extremely practical and will help you enjoy activities like live streaming.
Highlight The Long-Term Advantages
Finally, take the time to emphasize the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. To put it bluntly, hearing is essential to a person’s cognitive health.
The sooner you treat your hearing loss, the more hearing you’re likely to keep in the long run. Hearing aids are calibrated to fill in specific sound wavelengths which your ears have a hard time discerning. When you simply turn up the volume you don’t fill in the particular frequencies that are missing.
Getting treatment as soon as you begin noticing hearing loss can help save your hearing, and understanding that will help persuade people like Ted to seek help.