October 01, 2020

How do I convince my spouse it's time to get a hearing aid?

Q: I think my husband has developed a hearing problem, but he insists he can hear fine. How can I convince him to take this seriously?

A; You are far from alone in this predicament. Age-related hearing loss develops over time, so it's common for those experiencing it not to recognize it at first. Your husband may have started compensating for the loss without noticing, such as by turning the TV volume up or depending on reading people's lips to help understand what they're saying.

He may also think there is nothing to worry about because sounds still seem loud to him. But it's common to have loss of verbal comprehension, even if the volume seems fine. For example, he may have difficulty perceiving high-pitched sounds, such as the consonant sounds "th" and "s." That can make it easy to mix up words such as "sat" and "that."

If you are questioning your hearing ability, consider the following symptoms of hearing loss. Do you:

  • Find it difficult to hear during telephone conversations?
  • Have trouble understanding words, especially against background noise or in a crowd?
  • Have people tell you that the TV or radio volume is too loud?
  • Frequently ask others to speak up, slow down or enunciate?
  • Have difficulty hearing consonants?
  • Withdraw from conversations or avoid social situations?

When hearing loss develops, it amounts to more than just irritating misunderstandings. Studies have shown links between hearing loss and dementia, cognitive impairment and depression. Being able to meaningfully participate in conversation can help you maintain and improve relationships and prevent feelings of isolation....