Great relationships are based on communication. That’s why it’s so hard to watch a loved one experiencing hearing loss. Not only are they straining to hear, their hearing loss is making it harder for you to communicate with them. Hearing loss can cause frustration between loved ones, and lead to fights or disagreements. If someone you love has hearing loss, here are some ways you can gently encourage them to take a hearing test.

Recognizing the Signs of Hearing Loss

The first step in helping your loved one look after their hearing health is to recognize the signs of hearing loss. Simply telling them they’re not hearing clearly won’t help them realize they may have hearing loss. Start by recognizing these signs of hearing loss:

  • Your loved one has a hard time following conversations
  • They often ask you to repeat what you’ve said
  • They can’t hear you when you speak to them from another room
  • Your loved one has been turning up the volume on the TV or the radio
  • Your loved one feels embarrassed to meet with friends because they have a hard time hearing the conversations
  • They sleep through their alarm clock, or miss soft sounds
  • Your loved one seems withdrawn or isolated
  • They get stressed or anxious during events in a noisy setting

If you can recognize these signs of hearing loss, gently bring it up with your loved one. When you give them examples of times when they have exhibited the signs of hearing loss it’s easier to talk about their hearing loss.

Pick the Right Time

The best way to encourage your loved one to take a hearing test is to pick the right time to talk about hearing loss. Don’t bring up their hearing loss in the middle of an argument, or when you’re in the grocery store. Pick a time when you’re both at home and feeling calm. Make sure you turn off the TV or any other distracting sounds in the room so that your loved one can easily hear and understand you. It’s important to have the conversation in a quiet and calm environment so you can have a positive interaction.

Be Honest About How You’re Feeling

It can be hard for your loved one to admit that they’re struggling to hear. Be honest about how you’re feeling, but don’t put them on the defensive. Don’t blame them for not being able to hear, or accuse them of making life difficult. Instead, be honest about how you’re feeling, and tell your loved one you miss talking with them. Remind them of how much you used to talk, and how it’s been harder to communicate in the past few months.

Take the Time to Listen

Your loved one probably knows they have hearing loss. They know it’s been harder to communicate, and they’re scared about all the changes they’ve been experiencing. Take the time to listen to your loved one. Give them the space to talk about their frustrations about hearing loss, and their fears of treating hearing loss. Don’t interrupt them while they’re talking and let them tell you what the experience is like for them. Your loved one will appreciate that you take the time to hear their side of the story. It’s important to let your loved one know you care about them, and that you’re not blaming them for their hearing loss.

Encouraging Your Loved One to Take a Hearing Test

Once you’ve had some open and honest conversations with your loved one and given them some examples of their hearing loss, encourage them to take a hearing test. At Audiology Services, Inc. we’ll perform a comprehensive hearing test. A hearing test is completely non-invasive. We’ll ask your loved one some questions about their lifestyle and hearing needs. Then we’ll have them listen to a series of tones. Your loved one can indicate if they’ve heard a sound, and this will help us find out exactly what sounds they’re missing.

When you’re talking to your loved one about a hearing test, offer to go with them to the appointment. We’d love to see you both in our office. Together we can explore all the treatment options, and make the best decision when picking hearing aids.