Struggling with hearing? Request a hearing test appointment today.
How to Convince Someone They Need a Hearing Aid
It can be a tough job working out how to convince someone they need a hearing aid, but here are some ways to make your case.
If there’s something wrong with your vision or other parts of your body, you’ll most likely see an optician or your doctor and have something done about it. But it’s not always the same with hearing loss. And as it’s a condition that can often develop over a long period and doesn’t usually come on suddenly — unless it’s something like an injury to the ears or head that results in immediate loss of hearing that might be temporary, but also perhaps permanent — it can slide.
There can be a tendency to just put up with gradual hearing loss, particularly if you’re getting older and have gotten used to not hearing the way you used to. Some sounds may now be muffled, and you might have trouble making out conversations in busy and loud places. Phone calls might be problematic because you can’t hear the other person properly, and you might be increasing the volume on the TV or radio.
Still, lots of us who have such hearing issues do nothing about it, and that’s a real shame because good hearing aids can work wonders in restoring sounds in crystal-clear fashion and giving you a large part of your lost life back. It’s not a small problem either, as millions of people are suffering with impared hearing — it’s estimated that around 466 million people around the world, or 5% of the global population, have disabling hearing loss, and the figure is forecast to soar to more than 900 million by 2050.
Hearing loss can impact a person’s life in all sorts of ways, including social isolation, because they don’t want to interact with people, as they wouldn’t be able to hear them; unemployment, because they’re no longer able to communicate properly and do their job; higher blood pressure and stress levels; fatigue and depression. One of the most surprising consequences of hearing loss are issues relating to memory.
It’s a little-known fact that hearing loss is the number one cause of dementia. Prolonged deprivation of audio and stimulation to the brain can lead to problems down the line — hearing is one of our major senses after all. Hearing aids can restore the auditory stimulation and have a preventative effect on accelerated deterioration.
With even mild hearing loss, the brain has to fill in the gaps, which takes effort and can result in fatigue. People can be really good at this, though, and therefore don’t even notice that they’re compensating for the restriction. Unfortunately, this makes it harder to store short-term memories, due to the constant distraction of making up for the loss of hearing. A good analogy would be driving somewhere whilst listening to music — you can’t remember for the life of you how you reached your destination (even though you drove safely), as no memory was stored. So reducing excess brain processing allows better retention of conversation.
All these aftereffects can be wiped out, however, if people get the necessary care and treatment for their hearing. So how do you convince someone they need a hearing aid? Here are some common obstacles and ways to overcome them.
Misconceptions and Stereotypes about Hearing Aids
Hearing aids of old were noticeably larger than the sleeker versions of today, and they were often a visible sign of old age and frailty. Sometimes they didn’t even work that well, leaving people to struggle with them and fiddle about to adjust levels so they could hear properly — a battle that often ended in futility as the devices conked out, rendering the user frustrated and unable to hear a thing. Hearing aid batteries can be quite a put-off as well, as it’s an extra thing to worry about if one goes at an awkward time. And should you remove the aids to save battery power? What if you then lose them?
There are also the old stereotypes that hearing aids are either ugly, only for “old people”, don’t work, are a visible sign that you’re nearly deaf or — as is often the case — all four.
How to Counter: Modern hearing aids are small, powerful and are barely even noticeable. And as hearing loss affects people of all ages, not just the elderly, they’re for everyone, young and old, who is suffering from a degree of hearing impairment. If you think about the earbuds and AirPods many of us are walking around with all day to listen to our music and podcasts, wearing a hearing aid that may be much smaller is not all that unusual. One last, major improvement is that you don’t need to worry about batteries anymore, as most hearing aids are now rechargeable. Simple and easy!
Another common reason for people not getting hearing aids when they’re struggling with hearing loss is the often high cost of the devices. They can say to themselves that they can’t afford them so they’ll just have to put up with their impaired hearing, even if it makes life difficult. Hearing aids can be expensive because of the amount of research and development that goes into making successive models better, as well as the high-tech components, including a sensitive microphone, computer chip and quality speaker to deliver great sounds.
How to Counter: Just like with other aspects of your health, having good hearing is priceless, so you can’t really put a cost on the ability to hear well. While hearing aids may be pricey, some private clinics or audiologists may have payment terms that can help to spread the cost. You might also be able to get them on a health service like the NHS. With proper care, they’ll last for years and prove a sound investment time and again.
- “I Don’t like How I Sound”
Many of us don’t often get to hear what we sound like, as we’re usually not in a situation where we need to appear on TV or radio or record what we’re saying and then play it back. So suddenly hearing yourself amplified through hearing aids can be something of a surprise — and not everyone likes the sound of their own voice.
How to Counter: It can take a while to get used to hearing what you sound like, and after a short while you won’t even notice it. The benefit of enduring this sudden own-voice shock is that you get to hear so much better again.
- “I’m Too Old”
Some people of advanced age who are suffering from hearing loss might think there’s little point bothering with having hearing aids fitted because of the time, effort and expense involved — and because they might not be around for much longer. Or perhaps they may feel that the technology would be wasted on them when it could be used for younger people.
How to Counter: The truth is that none of us know how long we will live — any of us could, after all, be run over by a bus tomorrow. So we should enjoy each and every day, and if you can’t hear properly, do something about it so that you can, no matter if you’re 10 or approaching 100. Try a hearing test run with hearing aids, and see what a difference it can make in your life — whether it’s being able to hear the TV and phone properly or the beautiful voices of your loved ones.
These are just some reasons why people might avoid having their hearing loss seen to and corrected and why they might object to wearing hearing aids. Trying to convince someone they need a hearing aid can be difficult, but if you succeed and they regain some or all of their hearing, they will also surely thank you for your efforts in persisting.
You can start by offering to take them to see an audiologist who will examine their ears and inform them about the severity of their hearing loss. It may be that only one hearing aid is required, but sometimes it’s two so you get the same level of hearing in both. Giving them the option of having their hearing restored by using hearing aids could be just what they need to get their quality of life back
Hearing aids can make a huge difference to your quality of life.
Arrange a hearing-aid fitting today.