How do you talk about hearing loss with a loved one?
Is someone you know exhibiting possible hearing problem symptoms? Are you concerned that the loss of hearing may be changing their life for the worse?
Because the afflicted may not notice their hearing loss, loving family members and good friends often have to start the conversation about hearing loss. We know how hard that can be, so we’ve created this guide to help you begin a conversation about hearing problem symptoms with your husband, daughter, jogging partner, or friend.
How To Start The Conversation?
First and foremost, it is important not to place blame. Hearing loss is an invisible disability that the afflicted have absolutely no control over. So don’t start the conversation with statements like “You can’t hear me anymore.”
Because people with hearing loss are often anxious or stressed in busy or loud situations, begin your conversation in a quiet, safe place without a lot of people. Make sure you have plenty of time to discuss the issues and that neither of you needs to be anywhere immediately following your conversation.
- Ask them if they have had any problems hearing (in a non-threatening manner).
- Example: “When we were at dinner last night, could you understand the waitress?”
- Talk about situations where you both may have problems and situations where one of you seems to do better.
If they have changed their activities, stopped going to club meetings for example, use this as an opportunity to talk about how hearing can impact their ability to feel connected and belonging in these types of situations.
Use the common signs and symptoms of hearing loss to talk about what you have observed. Take the quiz together and see how you both do.
Go with them to their hearing test so that you can talk about your perspective as well.
Stop being their “ears” – try not to repeat everything for them, this will force them to do something about the problem.
When The Conversation Is Over – Make An Appointment!
Because hearing problems tend to get worse with time, we suggest you make an appointment with a hearing care professional right away .