Hearing decline doesn’t just affect the person who has it. It also affects spouses, family members, co-workers and friends. From frustration with having to repeat things over to heartbreak at seeing someone you care about isolate themselves, the negative effects of hearing decline cast a wide net. Supporting a loved one to seek help is the right thing to do, but it’s not always easy.
Left untreated, hearing decline can affect a person’s quality of life in many ways. Yet without even realizing it, you may be making it easier for someone not to seek help. Well-intentioned efforts such as repeating yourself or “translating” what others are saying may be preventing your loved one from realizing how much important communication they miss.
What can you do?
• Talk to your loved one about their hearing.
• Gently remind them each time you “translate” or repeat something for them.
• Offer to attend a FREE hearing consultation with them.
Don’t be surprised if you get resistance.
Unlike eyesight, when hearing goes, people are in less of a hurry to do something about it. Be prepared for push-back with these responses.
• My family doctor would have told me if I have a hearing loss. Not true – less than 20 percent of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during physicals.
• Wearing a hearing aid will make my hearing loss obvious. Today’s technology is small and discreet. They are less noticeable than if you constantly ask people to repeat themselves or inappropriately respond.
• A little hearing loss is no big deal. Studies have linked untreated hearing loss to stress, depression, social isolation, cognitive decline and increased risk to personal safety.
What do they have to gain?
Hearing aids process sound signals so it is easier for the brain to understand. They reduce cognitive load, making it easier for the brain to perform other tasks. Benefits of wearing hearing aids may include:
• Reduce mental fatigue.
• Improved ability to do several things at once.
• Improved memory, attention and focus.
Like many things you buy, there is a “good-better-best” hierarchy that applies to hearing technology. It’s a matter of weighing the advantages and features then ranking their importance to you and your family.
Don’t be fooled by unbelievably low prices. You want the most current technology. Get referrals from people you trust. Look to see who are invested and committed to your local community. The “Big Six” manufacturers have been around for fifty years or more. Their research and development are state-of-the-art. Stop by and visit the clinic and meet the staff prior to making an appointment. There is so much more than just price when it comes to your health and quality of life.
You want a professional you can trust, will listen to you, and work with you for the best fit. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, hearing aids can help enhance your quality of life dramatically, bringing you back in touch with the people and activities you enjoy. Most people find it’s worth the investment to stay connected by hearing at their best.