Despite their benefits, hearing aids often get a bad rap. Hearing aid devices tend to have a stigma surrounding them that can delay or even prevent someone from recognizing and admitting they need a hearing aid. People often think of hearing aids of big, bulky, and uncomfortable to use, however advances in hearing aid technology have made this more of an exception than the norm.
For friends and family of someone with a hearing loss, it can often be difficult to make the determination that their loved one does need a hearing aid. Some people with hearing loss can actually hide it from their friends, family, and others for a long period of time before it because very obvious. An untreated hearing loss can be dangerous for their health and safety. Therefore the sooner you can recognize an issue and approach them about treatment, the better.
Here are some signs that your loved one may need a hearing aid:
- You are unable to easily get their attention - it may take a few times of speaking to them or even touching them to get them to recognize you're talking to them
- They are often asking you to speak up or turn to hear you from a particular ear
- They may not know you're talking to them until they see you
- They misinterpret what you are saying - you say or ask one thing and they respond with something unrelated
- They don't enjoy being in noisy places where the level of sound can be overwhelming
- They tend to seem unfocused on what's going on around them
- They are easily startled as they don't hear someone coming up behind them
If you have a loved one that consistently shows one or more of these signs, it is important for them to schedule a hearing consultation. When approaching them about this, it's important to keep in mind that they are most likely sensitive to the subject and may be resistant to seeing a hearing specialist.
When having a conversation with someone about their potential hearing loss be sure to be understanding of the situation, discuss with them the safety issue of not getting their hearing checked as well as the benefits of improved hearing, and offer to go with them to a consult,