It’s easy to come up with excuses for virtually anything you don’t want to do. Take me for example, I’ve been putting off staining my fence all summer. I say to myself “looks like rain today” or “I’ll do it after the next project” and some days I even convince myself that it doesn’t really need to be stained, when the reality is it probably should have been done years ago.
I hear a lot of excuses in my clinic regarding hearing ability and hearing aids. Accepting hearing loss can be extremely challenging for some people to overcome. When those with hearing loss try justifying or making excuses for not hearing or not wearing their hearing device, it is a topic that should be addressed. By learning what typical excuses sounds like, you can learn how to better combat them, and ultimately help your loved ones who are struggling with hearing loss.
“I can hear well enough”
This is one of the most common barriers preventing those with hearing loss from actually seeking help. By agreeing or enabling this excuse it can become an issue for everyone involved. It is important to recognize this behaviour as a caregiver and friend, because no matter how good your intentions may be, you’re actually not helping them by repeating things, speaking louder, and otherwise acting as a personal hearing aid. The first step to better hearing is addressing the problem directly! The best way to this is with an open a dialogue about the existence of a hearing problem. A hearing evaluation can help people moved past the old argument of “he said, she said” and on to discussing options for improving their hearing.
“I don’t want help”
Even when someone acknowledges their hearing loss, their desire to stay independent can counter-intuitively steer them away from seeking help. Instead of using amplification, they use a variety of coping skills such as lip reading, controlling conversations, and pretending to hear. But what they don’t realize is that their hearing condition only gets worse the longer they let it go. The worse it gets, the harder it is to treat and the more likely they are to become socially isolated. Social isolation can have many negative effects on someone’s well-being, with many studies expressing the importance of keeping your brain active, engaging in discussions, and stimulating your mind. This is why educating and encouraging the person to learn about the benefits of hearing aids can go a long way. A hearing aid practitioner can help answer and explain any questions you both may have.
“I’m too young”
When you hear this from someone, regardless of their age, what they’re probably really saying is, “I may or may not have a problem, but I know I’m not wearing a hearing aid because it’ll make me look old”. This is a common misperception, as hearing loss can actually start at any age. No matter what their age, people should take comfort in knowing they’re not alone and that many hearing devices are completely invisible. I’ve always believed that a hearing loss is more obvious than a hearing aid because what people notice more is when friends and family say, “pardon” or “what” constantly compared to seeing a hearing device in their ear. Hearing devices are highly sophisticated now and are even compatible with iPhone and Android apps.
“I’m too old”
You’re never too old to do anything! Hearing properly should be a priority at any age and hearing aids are actually quite simple to use once you understand the basics. It’s not only about enjoying sound and living a more active life, it’s about quality of life. Taking control, staying independent, and being connected to the world around you is crucial for fighting the emotional and cognitive effects of ageing. Research has even shown that anxiety, depression, and dementia are associated with untreated hearing loss. There is no risk to trying amplification, as all hearing devices come with a trial period. Most clients are amazed at the improvement they receive and wish they’d sought help years ago.
“I can’t afford it”
It’s true, hearing devices can be a significant investment in your hearing health depending on the level of technology required. However, what many people don’t know is that a variety of models exist that can provide the basic requirements at a more affordable cost. I always try to remind clients that hearing devices are not an indulgence; they are a key part in their mental and physical well-being. Hearing properly is a fundamental component for a productive, active, and healthy lifestyle. People need to understand that managing their hearing loss is an important part of ageing well. Risk-free hearing device trials mean that you can test the value of the device to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
I love going to work every day and making a difference in people’s lives. Please don’t let excuses about hearing devices prevent anyone from living their life to the fullest. To talk to one of our experts, call Living Sounds Hearing Centre toll free at 1-833-559-4327 or come visit us in-person at one of our many locations.
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner