In all my years as a hearing health care professional, this is one of the most common and difficult questions to answer. The vast majority of people living with hearing loss are either unaware of their hearing difficulties or do not fully realize the extent of their hearing loss. The number one reason prompting people to get their hearing checked is family members who have grown frustrated living with someone who has hearing loss. Unfortunately, there are many husbands and wives who resist and persist! It’s often a very sensitive topic for retired couples spending so much time together.
When someone has mild-to-moderate hearing loss, typically they will hear relatively well if you are talking to them face-to-face in a quiet environment, but will not hear well if you are walking away from them, are in a different room, or if there is some other noise that is interfering with your voice. The hearing-impaired individual will quite often say, “How can I hear you when you’re talking into the fridge?” or “How can you expect to be heard when you talk so softly?” Repeatedly asking others to “please say it again” is a strong indicator that some form of hearing loss exists.
Unfortunately, trying to convince someone that the reason they keep asking people to repeat themselves is because their hearing ability is at fault can seem impossible at times. Don’t give up! It can take a few years for people to accept the fact that their hearing is deteriorating, and they need hearing aids. People may find it difficult in part due to the lingering stigma that wearing hearing aids is effectively admitting you’re “getting old”. Ironically, the symptoms of hearing loss become more prominent and obvious when hearing aids are not used, drawing people to that precise conclusion. Today’s technology allows for the discreet use of hearing aids.
What I suggest is to lovingly explain to your husband or wife that you are growing increasingly frustrated with having to repeat yourself as frequently as you are. Then, let them know that for a one-week period, you are going to notate every time you need to repeat yourself. I would also set the volume on the TV to a certain level, and then track the number of times they need to increase the volume so they can comfortably hear. After 7 days, discuss the results, and gently encourage them to get a hearing assessment, even if it is just to get a baseline of their hearing. You may be fearful that you are nagging them, but you will be doing yourself and them a big favour in the long run.
When they are finally ready to come in for a complimentary hearing assessment, the hearing health professionals at NexGen Hearing will be ready to answer any question or concerns they may have. Learn more or book an appointment today by vising nexgenhearing.com