Hearing loss is a life changer, but something that many people experience as they grow older. Inside the ear are tiny hair cells that convert sound waves into something the brain can interpret. As a person ages, some of those cells die off or become damaged. These cells don’t regrow like your hair or skin does. Once they are gone, they are gone for good.
If you have a parent with a hearing problem, there are some realities they may want you to know.
- Hearing Loss is Not the End of the World
It is an adjustment, though. Adult kids need to give their parents time to get used to a new hearing aid. You can help by making sure they get a proper ear test and fitting first. Buying cheap ear amplifiers just adds to their frustration. If your parent needs a hearing aid, then see a professional to get a proper one.
- They Might Need You to Tell Them
The age-related hearing loss doesn’t happen overnight. It is a gradual progression, so your parent may not know they have it. Don’t be afraid to have that conversation with them if you notice the signs. Getting a hearing test can only improve their lives.
- Hearing Loss Can Affect Their Health
Studies show a connection between hearing loss and dementia. It is unclear why poor hearing can increase the risk of memory problems, but it is a known risk factor for cognitive diseases.
- Hearing Loss is a Safety Concern
A person with age-related hearing loss is three times more likely to fall, for example. They may not hear a fire alarm or a car horn either. Getting a hearing test and a hearing aid improves safely.
- Your Parent Might Not Hear the Phone Ring
If you are calling mom or dad, they may not know it. Social isolation is often a side effect of hearing loss. Instead of calling, you might need to stop by or send a text message.
For that matter, they may not understand what you are saying when they do talk to you. People with hearing loss can miss words or hear mumbling. If your parent tells you talk clearer it means he or she may need a hearing test.
- The Things You Do Contribute to Hearing Loss
Your parents made choices throughout their lives that may have led them to this place and they want more for you. Loud noise damages those tiny hair cells, so turn the TV down, lose the headphones or earbuds and protect your ears at work if necessary. Improving your ear health now will lower the risk of hearing loss later in life.
If someone you love has hearing loss, you can help by ensuring they have what they need to manage it like a proper hearing aid.