If you have a loved one that is experiencing progressive hearing loss you may have been faced with some degree of resistance to get the issue assessed and properly handled. While this resistance may seem confusing, it is certainly not uncommon. It is reported that on average it takes between 7 and 10 years for an individual with hearing loss to seek the appropriate assistance. It also estimated that less than 15% of adults over the age of 50 with hearing loss actually wear hearing aids to improve the situation.
Why is there such resistance to hearing aids?
Resistance to hearing loss diagnosis and treatment often stems from the affected individual failing to recognize there is a problem. Since hearing loss is generally a slow and gradual process it can be difficult to realize it is even happening. Whether the root of this inaction is negligence or denial, the result remains the same. Hearing loss continues to go untreated and the problem continues to get worse. It usually takes steady insistence and encouragement from a friend or family member before anything is done about it.
Justifications for Letting Hearing Loss Slide
People will come up with all sorts of reasons and excuses to avoid having to make significant life changes. When it comes to treating loss, typical rationalizations for avoiding the issue include:
- The problem is not that bad
- Hearing loss is a normal part of aging
Downplaying the Issue
In many cases, people will evade the hearing loss issue because they feel that they can hear just fine. Justifications like “There is nothing wrong with my hearing if people would stop mumbling” are common. To some extent, this notion is true. People with hearing loss can still hear sounds, just not at all the necessary frequencies to be effective for communication. Age-related hearing loss tends to involve mixing up the sounds of consonants which poses a comprehension issue.
Hearing Loss is a Normal Part of Aging
While it is true that some degree of hearing loss typically occurs with age, it does not mean that there is nothing to be done about it. Hearing aids offer an excellent solution for hearing impairment to improve the range of hearing. The longer hearing loss goes untreated the more difficult it becomes to manage.
There is still a bit of a lingering stigma that hearing aids are a sign of weakness or are unattractive. The tremendous advancements in hearing aid technology offers people a variety of options, some of which are barely visible.
There is no arguing that hearing aids can be expensive, along with the assessment fees that go along with addressing the problem. Affordable options are always available and mobile hearing services can be cost-effective and convenient.
Overcoming Resistance to Hearing Loss Treatment
There are many approaches that can be taken to help a loved one get past the denial stage of hearing loss. Some useful recommendations may be:
- Stop enabling
- Explain that you will no longer be accommodating in allowing the issue to continue to go unacknowledged
- No more repeating yourself
- No more raising your voice unnecessarily
- No more acting as a third party interpreter
- Identify and address the challenges
- Making improvements to health is not always easy
- Acknowledge that making changes is going to take a concerted effort but the results are worth it
- Present the possible outcomes of untreated hearing loss
- Permanent hearing loss
- Loss of independence
- Difficulty in maintaining social relationships
- Increased risk of dementia
- Present the benefits of hearing aids
- Can restore hearing ability and range of frequency detection
- Retrain the brain to understand sounds that were previously inaudible
- Improved health and safety
- Improved confidence
- Better quality of daily living