Ask the Expert: My Loved One Has Hearing Loss

Miracle-Ear Chief Audiology Officer Dr. Thomas Tedeschi

Dr. Thomas Tedeschi
Chief Audiology Officer, Miracle-Ear

Miracle-Ear Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Tedeschi answers some of your common hearing-related questions.

Q: My husband recently had his hearing tested by a Miracle-Ear provider and was told that he needs hearing aids. This is something I already knew, but my husband doesn’t think his problem is that bad and feels he doesn’t need hearing aids. What can I say to convince him otherwise?

A: You bring up a common dilemma in which a spouse or other family member is acutely aware of the hearing loss and motivates the loved one to get help. Remember, however, that you can only push so hard. Your husband has to take responsibility for his own hearing. When the time is right, consider sharing the following information with him in a gentle, non-judgmental way.

As it gets worse, a hearing loss can be more difficult to treat.

For most people, a hearing loss typically gets worse. But because it happens so slowly and painlessly, the individual is often unaware of it. Here’s the real problem: The more a person’s hearing deteriorates, the more difficult it becomes to rehabilitate.

Speech understanding decreases with untreated hearing loss.

As we lose our hearing, we also lose our ability to “discriminate,” or understand, sounds — especially high-frequency speech sounds. Again, the longer a person delays getting hearing help, the more challenging it is to provide assistance with speech discrimination.

Cognitive overload may increase the risk of dementia.

A number of studies have shown that people with untreated hearing loss experience an overload of the brain’s cognitive functions — which may lead to an earlier onset of dementia.

When the time is right, your Miracle-Ear provider will be ready to help your husband complete his journey to better hearing.