People with blurry vision wouldn’t dream of going without a good pair of prescription specs. Our hearing, however, seems to be a different story.
A whopping 80 percent of adults between the ages of 55 and 74 who would benefit from wearing a hearing aid don’t use them, according to a study published in the International Journal of Audiology. Some are simply in denial that their hearing has declined. For others, it’s a matter of vanity: Sporting such earwear sends a signal that they’re getting on in years.
Price can also be a sticking point. And the devices can sometimes be tricky to program just right, requiring repeat visits to an audiologist before they feel comfortable.
Whatever the reason behind a partner’s, parent’s or pal’s reluctance, his life is likely to improve in many ways if you can persuade him to get the help he needs.
Carve out some time when neither of you is feeling stressed and have “the talk.” Keep the mood calm and nonconfrontational, and try to get to the bottom of why he’s hesitant to get help. A good way to kick off the conversation might be: “I’ve noticed that you’ve been having some problems hearing. What do you think is going on?” Or “Help me understand why you don’t want to see a doctor.”
Here are more tips from the experts.
Tout the benefits with facts. “Take the emotion out of your conversation and replace it with research,” says Maria Wynens, an Atlanta-based audiologist. There are many benefits to wearing a hearing aid, with well-researched studies to back them up — among them, a reduced risk of cognitive decline and dementia, a stronger marriage and even higher earning power.