Hearing problems affect many people in the US across all age groups and sexes. Approximately 20% of Americans –48 million people -have a certain degree of hearing loss. Among the people affected by hearing loss can be your loved one. It can be your mum, dad, husband, or even child.
Having a family member with a hearing problem can be difficult. You may be seated at the dinner table, having a good time with family and friends. You are telling stories and recounting old memories. Unfortunately, your loved one is sitting quietly lost amid dueling conversation with a blank look. They are neither responding to questions posed to them nor contributing to the stories.
Among the key challenges of living with a loved one with hearing loss is communication. It can be frustrating to communicate with a loved one with hearing loss. Similarly, it is equally frustrating for them to talk to you and express their needs.
Some situations may be awkward. Other people may think the person with hearing loss is ignoring them. Explaining to everyone that the person has hearing loss is hard. So, what can you do to help the loved one? Maybe it’s time to talk them into considering hearing aids. But how? Here are three incredible ways.
1. Ask them to see an audiologist
Do not tell your loved one that they need hearing aids. Some people freak out when they hear the term because of the stigma associated with hearing aids. Also, you may be misdiagnosing them. They may not need hearing aids. Maybe they require a different type of treatment for their hearing loss. Instead, ask your loved one to see an audiologist.
There are many audiology specialists in the market. Research the best one for your loved one. At Clarity Hearing, myself, Scott Marquardt, and our team of brilliant audiologists is here to help. We will conduct a hearing evaluation on the person and advise on the way forward. If your loved one needs hearing aids, we can advise them on the best option for them.
2. Show them hearing aids
Research shows that around 28.8 million adults in the US can benefit from hearing aids. Regrettably, only 16% of this figure uses hearing aids. According to the Better Hearing Institute, most people with hearing loss wait for 15 years from the time they discover the problem to the time of purchasing hearing aids. This situation can be attributed to the immense stigma and misconception associated with hearing aids.
Many people assume that hearing aids are large ugly devices. They still believe that hearing aids bulge out of the ear proclaiming to everyone that you have hearing loss. Nevertheless, this is untrue. Advance in technology has led to the development of small and discreet hearing aids. Invisible inner canal devices are so tiny, and nobody will know you have them. They fit into the ear canal so that only you know about them.
It is best practice to show your loved one hearing aids. Keep an eye on our ‘How to Videos’ to gain some insights on the devices. If possible, search for testimonials of people who have used hearing aids successfully to address their hearing loss. All these efforts gear at promoting buy-in for the loved one and debunking myths.
3. Offer financial help
Many people shun away from using hearing aids because of their cost. They think that hearing aids are too overpriced and hence, unaffordable. According to Healthy Hearing, hearing aids cost between $1,000 and $4,000 per device.
You can offer to help your loved one financially by buying hearing aids for them. This way, finances will not be a problem when acquiring hearing aids. There are numerous affordable hearing aids in the market that can benefit your loved one. Also, you can consider financing options like leasing.
Hearing loss is a significant health concern affecting millions of people in the US, regardless of their age and sex. When a loved one has hearing loss, it affects the entire family. The family experiences pain, frustration, and anxiety. You feel ignored, have to keep repeating yourself, and your relationship with the person suffers. At times, your patience wears thin, and you both begin to feel overwhelmed.
In line with this, it is essential to talk to your loved one about their hearing loss. Encourage them to see one of our experienced audiologists at Clarity Hearing for help. Show them pictures of hearing aids and how to use them to get buy-in. Also, offering financial assistance would go a long way. Most importantly, be kind to the person and support them in every way possible. Contact the hearing health experts at Clarity Hearing for a no-obligation phone call with you or your loved one to answer any questions they may have.
Scott Marquardt is the owner of Clarity Hearing and a highly skilled audiologist who has been in practice for over 20 years. Dr. Marquardt earned a master’s degree in audiology from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and a doctorate from A.T. Still University. He is a member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. He and the team offer comprehensive hearing healthcare services and specialize in the care of tinnitus, imbalance, and auditory processing disorders.