HEARING TIPS

Woman and man cuddling on a park bench after getting hearing aids to improve their relationship.

You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Really listen when your loved ones talk to you. That calls for, of course, the ability to hear.

According to research, millions of individuals would benefit from using hearing aids because one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some amount of hearing loss. But only 30% of those individuals actually wear hearing aids, unfortunately.

This inaction leads to problems hearing, in addition to increased dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. Suffering in silence is how many individuals endure their hearing loss.

But spring is right around the corner. It’s a time for emerging leaves, flowers, new beginnings, and growing closer. Talking frankly about hearing loss can be a great way to renew relationships.

It’s Important to Have “The Talk”

Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is 2.4 times more likely in people who have neglected hearing loss according to several studies. When the part of your brain used for hearing becomes less engaged, it can start a cascade effect that can impact your overall brain. Doctors call this brain atrophy. It’s the “use it or lose it” concept in action.

People with hearing loss have almost twice as many cases of depression than individuals who have normal hearing. Individuals with worsening hearing loss, according to research, frequently experience anxiety and agitation. Isolation from friends and family is frequently the consequence. They’re prone to stop including themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of depression.

Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this separation.

Solving The Puzzle

Your loved one may not think they can talk to you about their hearing problems. Fear or shame may be a problem for them. Maybe they’re dealing with denial. In order to determine when will be the appropriate time to have this discussion, some detective work may be needed.

Since you can’t hear what your spouse or parent hears, you’ll have to rely on outward cues, including:

  • Ringing, buzzing, and other sounds that no one else can hear
  • Steering clear of settings with lots of people and activity
  • Avoiding conversations
  • Watching TV with the volume really high
  • Frequent misunderstandings
  • Irritation or anxiety in social settings that you haven’t previously noticed
  • essential sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are frequently missed
  • School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming more difficult

Plan to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one if you observe any of these common symptoms.

The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How

Having this conversation might not be easy. A partner in denial may brush it off or become defensive. That’s why it’s essential to approach hearing loss properly. You may need to modify your language based on your distinct relationship, but the steps will be more or less the same.

Step 1: Let them know that you love them unconditionally and appreciate your relationship.

Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re concerned. You’ve read the studies. You know that neglected hearing loss can result in a higher risk of dementia and depression. That’s not what you want for your loved one.

Step 3: You’re also worried about your own health and safety. An excessively loud television could harm your hearing. Relationships can also be impacted by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some research. If somebody has broken into your house, or you call out for help, your loved one may not hear you.

Emotion is an essential part of strong communication. If you can paint an emotional picture of what might happen, it’s more impactful than merely listing facts.

Step 4: Agree together to make an appointment to have a hearing test. Do it immediately after deciding. Don’t wait.

Step 5: Be ready for objections. These might occur anywhere in the process. This is somebody you know well. What issues will they find? Costs? Time? Are they convinced it’s not a big deal? Do they think they can use homemade remedies? You know “natural hearing loss cures” don’t actually work and could do more harm than good.

Be prepared with your responses. Maybe you rehearse them ahead of time. You should speak to your loved one’s concerns but you don’t have to adhere to this exact plan word-for-word.

Grow Your Relationship

If your loved one is not willing to talk, it can be a tough situation. But you’ll get your loved one the assistance they require to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this discussion. Growing closer – isn’t that what love is all about?

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References

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-common-problem-older-adults
https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing#:~:text=About%2028.8%20million%20U.S.%20adults%20could%20benefit%20from%20using%20hearing%20aids.
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-hidden-risks-of-hearing-loss
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5403920/
https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/news/2014/nidcd-researchers-find-strong-link-between-hearing-loss-and-depression-adults

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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