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Hearing loss doesn’t just affect the person who’s struggling to hear. Hearing loss can be devastating for the entire family. If you have a loved one who is hard of hearing, you’ve seen how it impacts their relationships, and makes it hard to have intimate conversations or participate in family events. You want to maintain your close relationship, so if you have a loved one with hearing loss, it’s important that you encourage them to take a hearing test and do the right thing for their hearing health.
Struggling to Communicate
More than anything else, hearing loss affects your loved one’s ability to communicate. You used to enjoy long conversations, share all the little moments in life, and love spending time together. Even if you didn’t always see eye to eye, your great communication would see you through all the challenges of life. However, as communication begins to break down, your relationship will start to suffer.
Has your loved one been asking you to repeat yourself over and over again? It might seem like no matter how many times your repeat something, your loved one just doesn’t understand, and you feel like eventually they just smile and nod, and hope that you won’t notice that they still don’t know what you’ve said. Inside jokes fall flat, and more often than not you’re met with a blank stare rather than a laugh. You’ll both start to feel frustrated and upset, and rather than talking about everything, you might sit in silence because it’s easier than trying to communicate.
Facing Social Isolation
Apart from the breakdown in your relationship with your loved one, their other relationships will start to suffer. They may choose to stay home rather than attend social events, since communicating in places with a lot of background noise can be a real struggle. It becomes increasingly difficult to understand what’s been said when important speech sounds are masked by annoying background sounds. If your loved one is struggling to communicate with their friends, they start to experience social isolation, stress, anxiety, or even depression.
Talk to Your Loved One About Hearing Loss
If you’ve noticed the tell-tale signs of hearing loss in your loved one, such as difficulty following conversations, always turning up the volume on the TV, avoiding answering the phone, or often asking you to repeat yourself, then take the time to talk to your loved one about their hearing loss. Are they missing the alarm clock, or failing to hear the doorbell? These are all clear signs of hearing loss, and it’s time to have that hard conversation about hearing loss.
Your loved one might not want to admit that they’re struggling to hear, and blame their communication struggles on other people, saying that everyone around them seems to be mumbling or talking too fast. Nearly 40 million Americans has hearing loss, so reassure your loved one that they’re not alone. Be sure to tell your loved one that hearing loss doesn’t make them seem old, and that living without hearing has some extremely negative consequences for their mental, emotional, and physical health. With your encouragement, they will be willing to face the facts.
Find a Role Model
One in three seniors over the age of 60 struggles to hear clearly, so you definitely know at least one other person with hearing loss. One way to encourage your loved one to take a hearing test is by talking to your friend with hearing loss. They can be a role model for your loved one, and help them realize the advantages of treating their hearing loss and looking after their hearing health. Ask your friend to share their experiences with hearing loss and hearing aids, and this personal example can ease your loved one’s fears of seeking treatment for their hearing loss.
Encouraging your love one to take a hearing test will affect not only them, but your entire family. They’ll be able to regain clear communication, and your loved one will have a whole new lease on life. Call us today at Dr. Hear to book a comprehensive hearing test for your loved one, and offer to accompany your loved one to the appointment. We’ll be happy to talk with both of you, and together we can make the best decisions for your loved one’s hearing health.