Football games with Ted are the worst. Enjoying 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 the volume sounds fine for Ted. He needs the TV to be incredibly loud so he can hear it, which makes it pretty clear he needs a hearing aid. You’re just not sure how to talk to him that. It should be a straightforward conversation, but he seems overly sensitive about the topic.
The following are some recommendations that might help.
Encourage a Simple Exam
Ted needs a specialist to inform him about his hearing. He may not trust other people when they inform him he needs a hearing aid. In that situation, the trick will be getting Ted (or anybody like him) to come see us.
You might be able to accomplish that by utilizing one of the following tactics:
- Recommend that both of you go together for back-to-back screenings. This is a helpful way to broach a new medical situation. You might find out that you also have some degree of hearing impairment (depending on how long you’ve been subjected to loud sound).
- Try making him feel more comfortable by letting him know that it’s just a simple screening. In most cases, hearing screenings are quick and easy. Ted will get his results on an audiogram, which will break down his hearing by frequency. We can clarify what the results mean.
Chat About Hearing Loss Behaviors
Hearing loss is frequently indiscernible because it progresses so slowly. Certain subconscious behaviors often develop when this occurs. You can hint in a subtle way that Ted needs a hearing aid by putting attention on these behaviors.
Try some of these approaches:
- Mention that you’ve noticed how often you’re “translating” for him. It might happen like this: someone is talking to Ted but you’re closer and Ted needs you to constantly repeat what was said because he can’t hear them.
- You could tell him the family has noticed he’s been having a tough time hearing. Every 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 talking on the phone as much as he used to because he has a difficult time hearing what his friends are saying on the other end.
When you have these talks focusing on these behaviors, not the condition, will be the goal. Instead of discussing how Ted is experiencing hearing impairment, mention how his hearing loss effects people in his life.
Talk About Hearing Aid Technology
In some instances, reticence to wearing hearing aids comes from outdated (but understandable) ideas 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 utilized by contemporary hearing aids.
The following are some examples:
- Modern hearing aids contain a huge amount of technology. Thanks to connectivity, for example, your hearing aids will pair seamlessly with your phone or even your TV speakers. This provides amplified volumes without noise or feedback.
- Some hearing aids have additional features, like the ability to translate in real-time or track key biometrics better than some commercial fitness trackers.
- Modern hearing aids are typically incredibly small and almost totally unseen to the naked eye. And, modern hearing aids are also comfortable to wear. They’re not cumbersome like they once were. Most people will most likely never notice you’re wearing them.
Hearing aids, for many people, are an ideal extension to their other smart technology. In this modern world, hearing aids are incredibly useful and will help you enjoy activities like live streaming.
Promote The Long-Term Benefits
Finally, take some time to point out the link between hearing loss and mental health decline. In other words, your brain health depends on you being able to hear clearly.
You will keep more of your hearing undamaged in the long run if you manage your hearing loss as soon as possible. Hearing aids are calibrated to fill in specific sound wavelengths your ears have a difficult time discerning. Simply turning up your TV is no substitute for this valuable technology.
Getting treatment as soon as you start experiencing hearing loss can help save your hearing, and understanding that will help convince people like Ted to seek help.