Advice For Helping Relatives With Difficulty Hearing

Aug 3, 2009 by

Q. Over the past several years I have noticed that my mother-in-law is having increasing difficulty hearing at family gatherings. She seems to be extremely reluctant to have her hearing tested or to consider the use of hearing aids. Do you have any suggestions that might motivate her to correct this problem? She is missing so much.

A. It is very common for some people to deny the existence of their own hearing loss. Sometimes this is because their hearing has remained normal for soft low-pitched environmental sounds (dripping faucets, furnace fans, etc.) so they feel the problem is not too bad. However, they may indeed be missing the important higher-pitch components of speech (consonants like s, sh, th, ch, t, k, and voiceless c) making communication difficult. Others are reluctant to admit to their hearing loss, as they fear nothing can be done, or have heard of people who were unsuccessful with hearing aids.

Encourage your mother-in-law to make a complimentary, fact-finding appointment with one of our offices. We strongly believe that one should not embark on hearing correction without knowing what they are getting into. At this appointment the hearing care professional will obtain a baseline test, discuss the implications of any existing hearing loss and present the alternatives available to correct the problem. The good news is that there have been many advances in technology and today most everyone can obtain help.

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