One Of The Most Difficult Things To Tell Your Parents – Huh?

Okay, you’re not a kid anymore. You’ve got a life of your own, maybe even a family of your own, and things are good.

But you’re getting worried about one or both of your parents.

  • If you speak to your mother while her back is turned towards you, she often doesn’t realize you even said anything at all
  • Dad finds it difficult to distinguish between “boast” and “post”
  • Your parents turn the television up so loudly that you can hear it from the yard when you come to visit

You suspect a hearing problem, but every time you try to bring the topic up, they get hurt and defensive.

Want to know how to break through that barrier?

Keep reading.

The basics of hearing

Woman with hearing aidHearing is the ability to detect sound by vibrations. Hearing loss is an inability to respond to the sounds normally heard. It’s simple physics, not something to be ashamed of.

Helen Keller wrote about the topic like this: “Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people.”

Your ear is the only true writer and the only true reader.

Here are a few pertinent facts about hearing loss:

  • Hearing loss is common as we age
  • One-fourth of Americans between ages 55 and 64 have some degree of hearing loss
  • One-half of Americans over 65 years suffer from hearing loss

Hearing loss is not only a sad reality of aging, it can also handicap one’s relationships.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Hearing loss isn’t usually reversible, but it can be treated.

New medical technology offers help – but it can only help those willing to undergo treatment.

That’s where you come in.

The symptoms of hearing loss

You suspect a hearing problem, but you convince your father to get a checkup from an audiologist. One approach could be to sit down with this article and say, “Hey, Dad, here’s an interesting quiz… how about answering these questions?”

Then read and check:

  • Do sounds often appear muted or muffled to you?
  • Do you hate crowds because you can’t sort out what someone near you is saying?
  • Does it seem like nobody speaks clearly or loudly enough these days?
  • Is it difficult to sort out consonants? Do “Pull, Bull, and Null” all sound pretty much the same?
  • Do you often find yourself thinking a sound came from one direction, but find out it actually came from another?
  • Are radio and television volumes others seem to be okay with usually too low for you to hear well?
  • Do the new phones seem really tough to hear well through?
  • When you think about it, have you been pulling back from conversations because you don’t want to keep having to ask people to speak up?
  • Is the same thing happening with social settings?

This can be a tough conversation to have, and your parent may get incredibly offended that you would bring the topic up… but you can’t pull back from trying to help someone you love.

An honest appraisal of the situation, using the statistics and questions given above, will help you take the focus away from the person and put it on the topic.

If you prefer, here’s an online quiz to assess hearing ability: Hearing Health Quick Test.

Here are some of the problems those who suffer from hearing loss often face:

  • Loss of interest in talking with others
  • Embarrassment about their condition
  • Lack of concentration
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Isolation
  • Stress
  • Lethargy

How to avoid hurting feelings

Hearing loss can’t be seen. Since symptoms are relatively mild and slowly progressive, they can sneak up on a person and gradually choke off the rest of the world.Those close to the one afflicted can often see the problems showing up long before the loved one is ready to face the facts.

Hearing Aid Styles

More tips on how to bring up the topic

Remember, you’re discussing a topic, not accusing the person. It is absolutely necessary you approach the conversation with that attitude and make sure the one you’re worried about doesn’t feel he or she is being blamed, shamed, or threatened.

  • Make sure to face the person while talking
  • Don’t shout
  • Speak at a steady pace and pronounce words clearly
  • Keep in mind that you are communicating with a person who may have hearing loss
  • Don’t get frustrated
  • Present the facts and keep to the facts

You should explain that hearing loss isn’t something to be ashamed of. Until you know you have a problem, it’s not your problem. Once you’re aware of the problem, you have a responsibility.

Sometimes the cause of hearing loss may be simple. It could be a wax build-up inside the ear. The only way to know for sure is to meet with an audiologist.

Explain the basics of hearing tests:

  • They easy to perform
  • They are non-invasive and not at all painful
  • They don’t take long to perform
  • They are not expensive

The American Speech Language Hearing Association recommends that adults be screened at least every decade through age 50 and at three-year intervals thereafter. Chances are high, the person you’re concerned about has never been in for a hearing test.

Here’s another option: set up two appointments and get your own hearing tested. That will give you a baseline for future reference, and may encourage the one you’re concerned about.

Treatments for hearing loss

The audiologist will explore the situation and suggest ways to address any problems found. Common ways to address hearing problems include the following:

  • Clean out the ear and remove any wax buildup problems
  • Prescribe hearing aid
  • Implants can help in severe cases
  • Surgery is sometimes indicated

Hearing aids can often make a huge difference. They can boost communication and social functioning in adults with age-related hearing loss.

Life can be tough enough, even for those who don’t have difficulty hearing. Many people with hearing problems don’t realize what they’re missing out on. Your concern can create a huge impact on the life of the person you love.

Everyone deserves to hear the bees hum and birds chirp. Everyone needs to be able to talk with friends and play with grandchildren.

So take a chance.

If you never try, you’ll never know how much you can impact someone who needs you to speak up and show your concern.

Do it today!

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