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Of all the many disabilities that we as humans survive in this imperfect world hearing loss is the second most common, only depression is more common than hearing loss. According to a survey, more than 10.6% of the population in the U.S. has been suffering from the issue. The fact that there is not adequate awareness of hearing loss is concerning.
Hearing impairment is the most common of the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) complexities, therefore there is a dire need for people to understand it upfront and act upon it. However, not every other person is comfortable talking about hearing impairment. It is a critical cause of concern that if noticed should be communicated to the person affected because it can cause further complications.
So how do you talk to your loved ones about hearing loss? Keep in mind the fact that hearing issues affect a lot of people, there’s a high chance it could change from person to person. Since hearing is vital for our survival there is a major need for us to express concern when we notice it in someone who we care about.
When you convey the concern to the affected person there is a good chance that the person might not take it well, if not done correctly. So we have framed up a few techniques to convey the message in the most subtle way possible. Continue with us through the end of the article to learn more.
Look for the right time
A proper time can make all the difference in the world when a sensitive topic is in the discussion. We often are prompted inside to say it out whenever it irks us. But the right time is only decided by the vibes you have while talking. When it troubles you, you are more in a state of expressing your issues as if they are yours. But that is not how we should be dealing.
Find a time where they are open to a long conversation and will not be disappointed by it. Their sensibility plays a significant role in your judgment for the right time.
Assume they already know
If your loved one has hearing issues, there is a good chance that they already know what they’ve been facing. They just might not be comfortable with talking about it. Tell them about the moments they’ve faced difficulty in a way that doesn’t provoke them. Tell them about the instances where even they might have faced problems hearing other people’s words.
Also, let them know how frequently it has been recurring and why it is happening. Provide the opportunity for them to express it themselves and let them explain how they feel. If they do not want to prolong the conversation about it then leave it right then and look for some other time. Pushing them to be talk about it can lead them to be frustrated and insecure about it.
Hear them out
Every story has its version and perspective. Be careful to hear their thoughts on the situation. If you do not listen well enough then they may not discuss the issue with you any further, which could worsen the situation. Always offer a proper section of time for them to be expressive about it. They might reach out to you for further discussion at a later time. Never try to push your opinions on them or start deducting what could have caused the situation.
Give them their space and let them decide what is best for them.
Empathize with the situation
When a person is expressing their issues, we have a responsibility to make it as sound and as healthy as possible. Empathize with them, tell them how frequently you come across people facing the same issue. How their life has changed for the better after talking and doing something about it. Tell them even you need to test your ears as well, and this would make them feel that they are not the only ones insecure about it.
Use phrases that start from “I” or “We” to make them feel concerned from your end instead of using “You always….” “You have been…” as that leads to a show of concern rather than a display of inconvenience. Do not push them again and again on this. They might take a little time to get comfortable with the fact. They’ll think it out and conclude how to go about the situation.
People cannot always be sensible about the challenges they face, and that is where we need to be more supportive and show that this is not a big deal.
Explain how common it is
There is a good chance they could get insecure, which can lower their confidence. That is when coming to them with real facts and showing them how common the situation is. Tell them that there is nothing wrong with them as a person.
There are a whopping 32.7 million cases in the USA alone, and that shows how many people are facing the issue. That’s not it, there are a substantial number of people who have not come to terms with the same thing and still prefer being untreated. Think about the number of people who still do not acknowledge their hearing issues.
Talk about the benefits of getting tested
Tell them why it is essential for them to have their ears tested. If the concerned person is not entirely in a state of going to the specialist, they can even help themselves with the various resources around them. With the progression in technology, we can find ways to determine if there is something wrong or if we’re just paranoid. Although this is not the one-stop test, we can still count on this for at least a little understanding of the issue. Here is a link for an online hearing test. Also, Sage Hearing offers free hearing tests. Just book an appointment with us.
Lend a hand to assist them
Coming to terms with a disability can be a lot to take in. This is when our loved ones need us the most. Reassure them that this is not a big thing to worry about and promise to help whenever they need any assistance. Offer to go with the concerned person to the clinic even if they do not ask for help. Make sure they do not get insecure regarding this any further and help them make the process as smooth as possible. Doing the necessary things after understanding the cause of concern can help them to avoid unnecessary complications in the future.
These are just some suggested steps you can use and apply. There is no particular method or a specific method that we can suggest for you that works every time, since everyone is different. Respect the fact that since you understand your loved ones you are in the best position to determine how to approach and convey the situation appropriately to them. The reaction from the person might not always be what you expect it to be so being patient is key. So just bear with them, set a moment aside, and allow them to express themselves.