The decision to get a hearing test can speak to much more in the context of our lives. When we agree to get a test, we are also acknowledging that we might have a limitation. Even more so, we recognize that hearing loss is most common among older Americans, so we might think that hearing loss is associated with old age. Sometimes these other beliefs about ourselves can become too much, actually preventing us from taking the necessary step toward treatment.
If you have a loved one who seems resistant to getting a hearing test, it is important to keep in mind that some of these thoughts might be racing in the background. The following steps can help you encourage your loved one to get a hearing test, even if they have emotional and mental barriers to doing so.
Set the Stage
Context matters very much when it comes to talking about hearing loss. If you take the opportunity of a frustrating moment when hearing loss is apparent, the emotions associated with that experience might make it the worst time to talk. Rather than taking the opportunity of obvious hearing loss to encourage your loved one to seek assistance, why not choose a time when you are both calm and comfortable. Of course, talking in a quiet location that makes it easy to hear one another is very important! Rather than a café, restaurant, or other locale with background noise, talking at home might be a better choice.
More Listening than Talking
If you want to encourage your loved one to get a hearing test, your first inclination might be to provide lots of information about why it is so important. Indeed, there are many reasons that a hearing test is important indeed. Yet, listing these reasons might not be the most effective way to communicate with your loved one. Rather than doing a lot of talking, why not focus on listening to your loved one’s experience? Simply asking questions can be a door to better communication, creating a platform for your loved one to disclose difficult experiences with hearing that have come up. Even if your loved one isn’t ready to admit that hearing loss is a problem, you can pave the way for future conversations by simply listening carefully.
Offer Your Support
Though some people are resistant to the possibility they might have hearing loss, others simply need some courage to engage with the process of seeking treatment. With so many unknowns involved, one might prefer to disengage completely rather than boldly take those first steps. You can do a lot to support your loved one through the process. In the first place, it can be a fun time to spend together, so be sure to emphasize that you can offer moral support throughout the process. Your presence there is not only to have a more enjoyable time. Having two minds present in consultations can help to recall all the questions you have, as well as to remember all the new facts and terminology you are learning. Your hearing health provider can provide this information in writing, but it does help quite a bit to have another person in these meetings to make a mental record of events.
Understand the Test
Knowing what to expect can make the process much easier, so you might want to explain what is coming at the hearing test appointment. Most audiologists and hearing health professionals use a testing method called pure tone audiometry. You might even recall having a test like this as a child in school. While wearing headphones, the examiner will play a series of tones at different volumes and pitches. You simply gesture when you hear something, and your job is done.
With hearing tests being so easy, quick, and totally painless, your loved one might be more receptive to the opportunity to have a diagnosis of hearing ability. Through these simple metrics, your hearing health professional can determine how loud a sound must be in order for you to hear it. Understanding what to expect makes the process feel more manageable, and your presence as a supportive loved one can make the difference in pursuit of hearing loss treatment!
When your loved one is ready for a hearing test, we’re here to help! Contact us today to schedule an appointment.