Whether it is your spouse, a parent, or someone else you care about, watching a loved one struggle with hearing loss can be devastating. Not only is someone you love experiencing a challenge that is stressful and alienating, but your own relationship with this person can change and suffer as well.
It can be a daunting task to bring up the topic of hearing loss with your loved one. Odds are that he or she is aware that there may be a problem and may be feeling embarrassed or vulnerable as a result. Your relationship may already be experiencing some strain as a result of the hearing loss, so knowing when and how to bring up the subject in the right time and manner is important.
When the time is right, choose a quiet, private location to discuss the matter with the individual. The idea is to make him feel as comfortable as possible, so finding a time and place that allow him to focus and relax is critical. Make sure that background noise (like television and other conversations) is minimized so that your conversation is clear and uninhibited.
There are three very important things to bring up in your conversation:
- Let your loved one know that you are concerned with his hearing loss, and will be supportive of his treatment. Many people are very self-conscious of their hearing loss, and this will likely be the most challenging thing to speak about. Concerns about being seen as less of a person, wearing a hearing aid, or seeking treatment are common, and it is important that you come into the conversation fully informed about the options available.
- Share your own struggles and concerns. Letting your loved one know that you are concerned about your own relationship with him is also important. Hearing loss does not just affect one person—it can affect everyone in his life as well.
- Be proactive in encouraging evaluation and treatment. There are well-known side effects to hearing loss left untreated, which can include anxiety, depression, and balance problems. These side effects—along with hearing loss—can be easily treated with the technology that exists today. Let your loved one know that a higher quality of life is only an appointment away!
If you are ready to explore hearing solutions, schedule an appointment with one of our many hearing centers today—we offer hearing evaluations and solutions for every need and budget, and look forward to helping you enjoy the sounds that make your life your own!