Anyone who’s had to repeat themselves when talking has given hearing aids a thought. Whether it’s your uncle who needs to max out the TV volume or your mom who startles every time you enter the room, it’s natural to want to help.
But hearing loss can be a sensitive topic. And according to hearing aid specialist Darryl Minami, if someone isn’t ready to admit they have a problem, getting them to take a test is easier said than done. Minami offers these suggestions on how to help.
Do your homework
Reach out to a local professional or go online. There are numerous articles about hearing loss – like these from WebMD, The Mayo Clinic, and AARP – and it’s much easier to persuade a loved one when you know what you’re talking about.
Figure out what they object to
Everyone’s different, but the reasons for not wanting a hearing aid tend to be similar. For some, it’s embarrassment, financial worry, or a “no need” attitude. Whatever it is, know what you’re up against. Modern hearing aids come in lots of shapes and sizes with cool features. Understanding their potential objections can help you make a better case.
Explain the risks of going untreated
Hearing loss can have a significant effect on your quality of life. Left untreated, it can lead to depression, decreased ability to converse, and loss of memory. Your brain is like a muscle that needs to be exercised, so the risk increases the longer you wait. Once the brain stops processing sounds, it may lose the ability to do so.
Offer to have your hearing checked with them
Hearing loss can happen to anyone regardless of their age. Often, it comes on gradually, so you don’t even notice it. It can’t hurt to have a professional check your hearing. And an invitation is easier to extend when you’re asking someone to join you.
If you have a relative or close friend who’s suffering from hearing loss, getting them into the doctor’s office may be your biggest challenge. Once they’re in the door, it’s likely that the specialist has worked with others who’ve had the same fears or reservations and can offer reassurance and recommendations.
Darryl Minami is a board-certified licensed hearing aid specialist and brain health specialist. A graduate of Kaiser High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, he’s been with Akamai Hearing Aid Specialists for years, helping thousands of Hawaii residents with hearing issues.