Upset senior couple ignoring each other at home

If you live with someone who is struggling to hear, then this article is for you.  Convincing someone that they have a problem hearing can be a daunting task, typically because they either don’t recognize that a problem exists or don’t realize how bad the problem has become.  Hearing loss (the majority of the time) occurs very gradually, allowing the individual with the hearing loss to develop systems that in their mind compensate for the hearing loss.  Those compensatory measures often include:

  1. Asking friends and family members to repeat information frequently.
  2. Increasing the volume on the radio or TV to a level that’s uncomfortable for individuals with normal hearing.
  3. Turning down competing noise when they’re trying to hear something.  For example, turn the radio off in the car when they’re trying to hear someone else in the car speaking.
  4. Avoiding settings where they know they’ll struggle to hear. For example, movie theatres, parties and restaurants which tend to present the listener with a very noisy listening environment.

HOW TO CONVINCE SOMEONE THAT THEY CAN’T HEAR?

We would suggest that you don’t try to convince your significant other, family member or friend that they can’t hear.  Instead focus on a compromise, a baseline-hearing test.  Everyone should have his or her hearing checked at least once.  We’re all used to getting an annual physical.  Everything from our weight, to our height to our blood pressure is recorded and compared to both “normative” standards and our personal statistics from previous years.  Any changes are noted and if anything appears to be a problem the results and options to resolve the problem are discussed.

An annual physical examination can serve one of two purposes:

  • Provide a source of reassurance that you in fact have no health problems feel.
  • Catch health problems before they become serious.

Your hearing is no different.  The status of your auditory system (all the parts that work together to allow you to hear) including your outer ear, ear canal, eardrum, middle ear and inner ear should be assessed periodically.  A baseline test is a great idea for anyone.  Even if you’re positive you have absolutely no problem hearing, that may change in a few years.  If you notice a change, then your hearing healthcare professional will have something to compare to any future test results.

So stop trying to convince your significant other, friend or family member that they can’t hear.  Too often it becomes a battleground lasting for weeks, months or even years.  Instead pick up the phone, call our office and make an appointment for you and the individual in your life who needs our services (they just don’t know it yet!)