Do you have a family member or friend who struggles to hear? Do they constantly ask you to repeat yourself? Have you told them their television or radio is too loud? Do you feel like you are their personal hearing aid?
Trying to convince someone they have a problem hearing can be a difficult task. Most people do not realize they have a hearing loss because it happens gradually over time. The person may compensate by turning up the volume of their phone or television, by avoiding social gatherings where they know they will struggle to hear, and by asking family members to repeat the information.
On average, it takes an individual with hearing loss approximately seven years to acknowledge a hearing loss and seek medical advice. Most people schedule an annual physical with their family doctor, dentist or optometrist. The medical professional has an opportunity to discuss any problems you may have and can compare your results to the previous year. This annual checkup enables you to be aware of changes in your health and take preventative action. An annual physical can catch health problems before they become serious or can provide a person reassurance that everything is fine.
Most people take their hearing for granted. A baseline hearing test is a good idea at any age. Hearing loss can be caused by wax buildup, ear infection or conditions that may need further medical investigation or treatment. It is important to know that some types of hearing loss should be treated as soon as possible, before it can cause permanent hearing loss.
Instead of trying to convince a family member that they have a problem hearing, try compromising by scheduling a hearing test for all members of the family.
Ask your loved one, “Did you have your annual eye or dental checkup?” If the answer is yes, then say, “Why not have your hearing tested?” At least your family member will have the reassurance that they are taking control of their health. Please read our Signs of Hearing Loss page and complete the questions to see if it is time for a hearing test.