Talking to a loved one about hearing loss

Hearing loss doesn’t just affect the person who has it. It also affects spouses, family members, and friends. From frustration with having to repeat things over and over, to heartbreak at seeing someone you care about isolate themselves from the people and activities they love. The negative effects of hearing loss cast a wide net. 

Do’s and don’ts when approaching this important subject

Left untreated, hearing loss can affect a person’s quality of life in many ways. Yet without even realizing it, you may be making it easier for someone not to seek help.

Well-intentioned efforts such as repeating yourself or “translating” what others are saying may be preventing your loved one from realizing how much communication they fail to understand or miss completely.

How to help

  • Gently remind them of their loss every time you “translate” or repeat something for them
  • Share hearing information you find about hearing loss 
  • Offer to schedule and attend a hearing consultation with them
  • Remind them they have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain by seeing a hearing professional

Don’t be surprised if you get resistance

Unlike eyesight, when hearing goes, people are in less of a hurry to do something about it — with many waiting 5-7 years before finally seeking treatment. Be prepared for pushback with these responses.

  • My family doctor would have told me if I had hearing loss.
  •  Not true — less than 20% of physicians routinely screen for hearing loss during physicals
  • Wearing a hearing aid will make my hearing loss obvious.
  •  Today’s hearing aids are sleek and stylish and less noticeable than if you constantly ask people to repeat themselves, inappropriately respond to them, or don’t respond at all. Asking someone to repeat themselves, and then misunderstanding what they said, makes it obvious that they have hearing loss. Learn more about what to expect from hearing aids
  • A little hearing loss is no big deal.
  •  The fact is, studies have linked untreated hearing loss to big deals like stress, depression, social rejection, increased risk to personal safety, reduced earning power, and more.

A hearing test is the best first step

If you know someone who could benefit from help, suggest they get a hearing test. At Accurate Hearing, our hearing tests are performed on advanced, precision testing equipment. Best of all, they’re completely free. Call 907-644-6004 to schedule a FREE hearing test.