Hearing Loss First Steps | Concerned about someone's hearing?

CONCERNED ABOUT SOMEONE'S HEARING?

A hearing problem is not exclusive to the person who has it but in reality it is a problem for husbands, wives, family, friends, children & grandchildren.

Not only can hearing loss be dangerous if you don't hear warning shouts or alarms it can have a huge emotional impact on loved ones.


Loved ones tend to be the best judge of the person suffering hearing loss. They are generally first to notice.


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As a loved one you get frustrated repeating yourself. You get concerned as you watch the active person you love begin to isolate themselves. You watch the person you love stop going to the clubs or gatherings they once loved.

So what do you do? Trying to get someone to do something about their hearing loss can be a tricky bridge to cross.


There is still stigma attached to hearing loss. Stigma in all honesty which just shouldn't be there.



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THE MAIN AREAS OF STIGMA ARE

Hearing aids are big and clumsy - This is nonsense nearly every person with hearing loss can now be fitted with invisible hearing aids. In fact about 90% of people with hearing loss could comfortably have an invisible hearing instrument.
Old People wear hearing aids - As we discussed previously, young people on the go wear hearing aids. That's what keeps them going. They have the health of their ears checked regularly so they can maintain a high quality of life. People who don't help their hearing can suffer from quicker cognitive decline and withdraw. This is what give the perception of old. If you leave it to long then it's harder to help. Acting sooner means being in the action longer and keeping that brain young.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Talk to your loved one but monopolise the listening. Ask questions such as what type of people do you think wear a hearing instrument? What do you think they look like? Then show them evidence of what hearing aids look like and remind them that young vibrant hearing people are more active than people who struggle to communicate.
Take the time to visit a hearing care professional before you encourage your loved one to go. Ask them lots of questions about hearing aids, hearing loss & what services they offer. Ask yourself would this hearing care professional put your loved ones at ease? This is a major part of being successful first time.
Do they offer free trials of hearing aids? A mistake a loved one can make is forcing someone to have hearing aids. It's far easier to get someone to go for a free trial than it is to force them to GET hearing aids. In our experience a free trial really relaxes the first time user and takes the pressure off any potential hearing aid purchase.
Gently and kindly inform them when they miss things that everyone else picks up on. Tell them how great it was when they were involved.

EXPLAINING HEARING LOSS IN A LANGUAGE WE CAN UNDERSTAND

One of the major problems we have in the world of hearing instruments hearing aids and audiology in general is the perception that if you need a hearing aid then you're deaf.

This could not be further from the truth! Let's look at a like for like explanation.

Around 60% of the population wear glasses or contact lenses to help correct their sight. Are they blind? Well no obviously not. So what's the problem? Why wear glasses if you're not blind? Obviously we wear glasses because our ability to see clearly has diminished. Having an optician check our eyes and prescribe us glasses to re adjust our sight is now common place. In fact glasses are a fashion accessory!
So what about hearing aids & Hearing loss? Are we deaf with hearing loss? Of course not, not even close. Similar to eyes the hearing cells in our hearing nerve can become worn and cause hearing loss which results in a reduction in clarity. Just like that day you realised you struggle to read the small print & need your eyes tested, your hearing should be seen as the same, gradual reduction in the small print. A reduction in hearing clarity is effectively struggling to hear the small print. You can hear the headlines for example in a 1 to 1 situation but a situation with background noise becomes a problem. The noise and volume is there but the clarity is gone.

So like having your eyes tested and having your clarity restored is so accessible and accepted in today's world then why is hearing loss not the same? There is no reason other than silly old stigmas.

Today's hearing instruments and hearing aids bring that all important clarity back. They can't be seen, they don't even have fiddley little buttons to adjust. Like glasses you stick them on and forget about them.