HEARING TIPS

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

Want to show how much you care? Listen to your loved ones, truly listen. That requires, of course, the ability to hear.

Studies reveal millions of individuals would benefit from using hearing aids because one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some level of hearing loss. Regrettably, only around 30% of these people actually use their hearing aids.

Neglecting your hearing loss results in problems hearing, as well as higher dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. Many individuals coping with hearing loss just suffer in silence.

But it’s almost springtime. Spring should be a time when we take pleasure in blossoming flowers, emerging foliage, starting new things, and growing closer to loved ones. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by speaking openly about hearing loss?

Having “The Talk” is Important

Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is 2.4 times more likely in people who have untreated hearing loss according to many studies. When the part of your brain used for hearing becomes less active, it can initiate a cascade effect that can impact your entire brain. Doctors refer to this as brain atrophy. It’s the “use it or lose it” concept in action.

Depression cases among individuals with hearing loss are nearly double that of somebody with normal hearing. Research reveals that as a person’s hearing loss worsens, they frequently become anxious and agitated. Separation from family and friends is frequently the consequence. They’re likely to stop including themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they sink deeper into a state of sadness.

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

Solving The Mystery

Your loved one may not think they can talk to you about their hearing problems. They could be scared or embarrassed. They may be in denial. You may need to do a little detective work to decide when it’s time to have the conversation.

Since you are unable to hear what your spouse or parent hears, you’ll have to use outward cues, including:

  • Watching TV with the volume exceedingly high
  • Avoiding busy places
  • School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming more difficult
  • essential sounds, like someone calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed
  • Misunderstanding situations more frequently
  • New levels of anxiousness in social settings
  • Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else can hear
  • Staying away from conversations

Plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one if you notice any of these common signs.

How to Talk About Hearing Loss

It may be difficult to have this talk. You might get the brush off or even a more defensive reaction from a partner in denial. That’s why approaching hearing loss in the proper manner is so significant. You may need to adjust your language based on your distinct relationship, but the steps will be more or less the same.

Step 1: Make them aware that you value your relationship and have unconditional love for them.

Step 2: You’re worried about their health. You’ve read the studies. You’re aware of the increased dementia risk and depression that accompany neglected hearing loss. That’s not what you want for your loved one.

Step 3: You’re also concerned about your own health and safety. Your hearing can be harmed by excessively loud volumes on the TV and other devices. Relationships can also be impacted by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some research. Your loved one might not hear you yelling for help if you’ve fallen down or somebody’s broken into the house.

People connect with others by using emotion. If you can paint an emotional picture of the what-ifs, it’s more impactful than merely listing facts.

Step 4: Come to an agreement that it’s time for a hearing exam. After deciding, make the appointment as soon as possible. Don’t procrastinate.

Step 5: Be prepared for objections. These might happen anywhere in the process. You know this individual. What will their objections be? Money? Time? Are they convinced it’s no big deal? Are they thinking about trying home remedies? You know “natural hearing loss cures” don’t actually work and could do more harm than good.

Be prepared with your answers. Perhaps you practice them ahead of time. You should address your loved one’s concerns but you don’t have to use this exact plan word-for-word.

Grow Your Relationship

Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your loved one isn’t willing to discuss it. But you’ll get your loved one the help they require to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this discussion. Isn’t love all about growing together?

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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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