For some people, the realization of hearing loss translates almost immediately to a call to an audiologist or hearing health professional. These people understand that help is available, and they can’t wait to get access to treatment. They might have been struggling through conversations before realizing that hearing loss was the underlying cause. These people who are eager to get treatment are the ones who will reap the most rewards of their hearing aids. As we know, the benefits of treatment for hearing loss extend beyond conversational ability into the domains of physical, mental, social, and cognitive health. However, too many others avoid getting treatment for hearing loss. The reasons for this avoidance are as varied as the individuals who put off getting a test. Let’s take a moment to consider some of the main reasons that people avoid getting treatment for hearing loss, as well as what you can do to help your loved ones who are avoiding the test.
For a few people, the avoidance of seeking treatment extends so far that they deny to themselves that there is any problem. After years of barely getting by with reduced hearing ability, these people might prefer to stay in the dark regarding their own hearing loss. Some people shift the blame onto others, accusing them of speaking too softly, mumbling, or calling out from another room in the house. They might even get frustrated with how the world has changed for them without turning their gaze inward to see that the problem lies with hearing ability. These people can be the most difficult to reach, and asking a few gentle questions about hearing ability is often the best way to begin the conversation. By helping these people open their minds to the possibility of hearing loss, you can pave the way toward treatment in the future.
Others acknowledge that they have hearing loss, but they hang onto some damaging myths about the nature of the treatment. Some people think they are getting by just fine with the hearing ability they already have. They might make false assumptions about what others are saying or simply ignore them. These people have a tendency to check out on conversations, acting as if it’s no big deal that they are missing out on what others have to say. In fact, zoning out during conversations can cause a lot of problems logistically, but they also cause problems for cognition and mental health. Many other myths about hearing loss can prevent a person from getting treatment. Some of them think that admitting hearing loss is akin to admitting to becoming “old.” The sad fact is that younger people are demonstrating hearing loss at remarkable rates, so this assumption doesn’t hold up. Still others believe the myth that hearing aids don’t work very well. Perhaps they heard a first-hand report from someone with an old-fashioned model of hearing aid that tended to feedback with whistling or to amplify the volume of background noise. The latest hearing aid models have worked wonders to resolve these issues, and hearing aids can help many people communicate fluidly and easily once again.
Some people who admit to having hearing loss don’t believe these myths, but they simply need a little support to cross the finish line. If you have a loved one with hearing loss, you can fill this role of encouraging treatment. For some, the best approach is to ask some questions, particularly those who are in denial. Others could benefit from disabusing them of these harmful myths. Still others simply need a helping hand to find a hearing health professional and to make the appointment.
Scheduling a hearing test is as simple as making a call, so you can help your loved one through the process quite easily. When the time comes for the hearing test, you can accompany your loved ones to make sure they feel comfortable and secure. Your presence can be of practical assistance when you help remember important information and ask all the right questions. And even more, your presence offers general moral support through the process, making sure your loved one is secure in the potential benefits of treatment!
If you’re ready to experience the life-changing benefits of hearing loss treatment, contact us today!