Opening up a conversation with your parents about their hearing loss can be challenging. Many people struggle to accept that they need help. In fact, it takes the average person seven years from the time they think they have hearing loss to the time they seek treatment. Whether your parents have a difficult time acknowledging their hearing loss or they feel it hasn’t progressed enough to require treatment, you can make a huge difference in their decision to address it head-on.
Let’s take a look at a couple of tips for having the hearing loss talk with your parents.
Hearing loss is extremely common. Nearly 50% of those aged over 75 have disabling hearing loss. Even though the condition is widespread, those experiencing it often struggle with feelings of inadequacy. When we’ve spent our whole lives doing something we feel should be easy, such as hearing, it can be disheartening to learn that we now need help.
When you approach the topic of hearing loss with your parents, do your best to remember that it is normal for them to feel emotional. Broach the subject gently, and if they are resistant to the discussion, think about tabling it for a better day.
Discuss Their Symptoms
Symptoms of hearing loss often start small and can be imperceptible to those exhibiting them. A few symptoms to watch out for in your parents may include:
- They have difficulty understanding children or other high-pitched voices.
- They need to turn the TV or radio up louder than is comfortable for others.
- They retreat from social activities because communication feels too difficult.
- They frequently need people to speak up or rephrase words or sentences.
- They often become frustrated at others when they cannot hear or understand them.
These symptoms may arise sparingly at first and occur more frequently as hearing loss progresses. Pay attention to your parents and make note of their symptoms. They may be more likely to confront hearing loss when you are able to point to specific instances of these common symptoms.
Offer To Attend Audiology Appointments With Your Parents
While regular audiology appointments are recommended, many people haven’t had their hearing tested since school. Attending an audiology appointment for the first time, especially if you are experiencing hearing loss, can feel a little nerve-wracking. Attending your parent’s first audiology appointment with them can take a lot of the stress out of the experience. In fact, one study found that attending audiology appointments with a loved one significantly increased the likelihood of hearing aid adoption.
By starting small, discussing their symptoms and offering support at their audiology appointments, you can help your parents make the decision to begin hearing loss treatment before the seven-year average. To make an appointment with one of our trusted hearing specialists, contact Certified Hearing Aid & Audiology Associates today.