Talking to a Loved One about Hearing Loss

Talking to a Loved One about Hearing Loss

by Dr. Kevin Ivory

Have you noticed that your loved one isn’t able to hear clearly? Do you struggle to communicate, and find yourself repeating the same thing over and over before they can understand you? Communication is vital to having a strong and healthy relationship, and when communication breaks down, your relationship will suffer as well. Perhaps your loved one is reluctant to admit that they’re struggling to hear, so it’s time to talk to your loved one about hearing loss.

How Hearing Loss Affects Relationships

Hearing loss can have a major impact on close relationships. You’re used to being able to share everything with your loved one, from inside jokes, to early morning conversations over coffee, and chatting on the park bench while the grandkids play. But when your loved one has hearing loss, all of that can change. Rather than communicating easily, understanding one another can be a huge challenge, and a peaceful morning conversation can turn into a yelling match about what you want for breakfast. You’ll have a lot of misunderstandings that could lead to bigger fights or complications.You both experience a lot of frustration when your loved one asks you to repeat yourself again and again, and it feels like even when they don’t ask you to repeat something, they haven’t understood what you’re trying to say. You’re both more irritable, and more likely to get upset, and you don’t spend as much time together as you used to.

Talking About Hearing Loss

If your loved one isn’t ready to talk about their hearing loss, then take it slow. It’s hard to admit when you’re struggling to hear, and many people might feel that accepting the fact that they have hearing loss is a sign that they’re getting old. This stigma attached to hearing loss makes it harder to talk about, so when you discuss hearing loss with your loved one, reassure them that hearing loss doesn’t change how you think about them, and that hearing loss can affect anyone, regardless of age.

Recognizing the Signs of Hearing Loss

Be patient with your loved one, and start the conversation armed with facts. Take the time to understand the causes of hearing loss, and how it affects the person with hearing loss. If you can point out how your loved one has many of the common signs of hearing loss, and give them specific examples of times they’ve clearly been struggling to hear, they’ll be more likely to accept the truth.Has your loved one been complaining that everyone is mumbling? If they’re blaming everyone else for their communication problems, your loved one needs to realize that the problem doesn’t lie with others, but within their own ears. Do they turn up the volume on the TV far too loud, or have difficulty talking on the phone? Do they sleep through their alarm clock, or have trouble hearing high pitched sounds? These are all common signs of hearing loss, and should signal to your loved one that they have hearing loss.

Success Stories

People are often afraid of admitting they have hearing loss, and aren’t sure what to expect when they seek treatment. This is a common experience, so find some success stories to share with your loved one. Perhaps you have a family friend who recently got hearing aids who would be willing to share their story. Nearly 40 million Americans have hearing loss, and many of them have had a similar journey with hearing loss. Reading some encouragement from others will help your loved one talk about their hearing loss.

Modern Hearing Aids

Another barrier to talking about hearing loss is the image your loved one has in their mind of bulky, ugly hearing aids that don’t really work. Find some pictures of modern hearing devices like the ones we have at Glendora Hearing. Our sleek, sophisticate devices fit snuggly behind the ear, or even sit completely within the ear canal. Your loved one will be shocked by how attractive they are, and won’t even want to hide them. Not only are our hearing aids beautiful, they’re also extremely powerful, and full of exciting programs and settings that will help your loved one hear in every listening environment, and get back to enjoying their relationships with ease.

Once you’ve talked to your loved one about hearing loss, call us at Glendora Hearing today to book a hearing test.

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