What do you do when someone is in denial about their hearing loss?

Posted by mari @mari, Jan 16 8:02pm

I was reading on here about BFF and mates Refusing to get tested when their hearing is really bad – their frustration. Where are those posts?

Hi @mari, I couldn't find those posts either, but this is a great topic to get started. Do you have a friend or partner who you suspect has hearing loss, but they refuse to get tested?

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I don't suspect – I know there is hearing loss. so when i speak loudly, – I sound harsh (just like when i spoke to Mom in hospital ) But, get Sooo tired and frustrated of "what did u say?" "what did u say?" At least I got tested, and got HA from Costco, which i promptly lost!

Liked by kirstenhw

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Let me see if I understand, Mari. Your friend won’t get tested. To you it is obvious they need help with hearing issues. And you are frustrated when they constantly ask you “what did u say?” Is that right?

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Mari, first, did you check with Costco about replacing your lost hearing aid? On the Costco website, it says "Free loss and damage coverage (with no deductible)." Second, it is great that you care about your friend's hearing because friends and family are often responsible for persuading people to get tested for hearing loss & then, to get hearing aids. You could ask her why she is hesitant. I've read that on average people wait 5-7 years (after they realize that they have hearing loss, which my not be immediate!) to get tested, then wait a few more years to get hearing aids. Now scientist are studying untreated hearing loss and the increase in dementia and depression. You can watch this video on CBS news: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hearing-aids-you-aint-heard-nothing-yet-2019/ Maybe she will watch it with you, too. Frank Lin, a physician at Johns Hopkins University, has conducted a lot of research – you can google his name or I can send some more links. Another thing to know is the longer one waits to be treated, the more difficult to adjust and the less effective the adjustment may be. This is because your brain actually changes how it works, when you have hearing loss (search Anu Sharma at Univ Colorado). This information was enough to motivate me to wear my hearing aid more regularly. Not to mention you just want to be part of the conversation, literally. Here is a quick quiz that may help determine whether one should be tested (though people may deny that they are experiencing any issues even as those around them say that they are!): https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/do-you-need-hearing-test. Also the Costco website has Frequently Asked Questions that may provide some guidance for talking to your friend. Good luck!

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@lizzy102

Let me see if I understand, Mari. Your friend won’t get tested. To you it is obvious they need help with hearing issues. And you are frustrated when they constantly ask you “what did u say?” Is that right?

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LIZZY, yes

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@mari

I don't suspect – I know there is hearing loss. so when i speak loudly, – I sound harsh (just like when i spoke to Mom in hospital ) But, get Sooo tired and frustrated of "what did u say?" "what did u say?" At least I got tested, and got HA from Costco, which i promptly lost!

Jump to this post

@mari

Hi

Would your friend be open to just going to an ENT doctor for a physical check of his/her ears for a possible wax buildup. Could be impacted wax that is causing the problem and not an actual hearing loss. No need to get tested at that time…see what the doctor says. Happened to an aunt of mine years ago. She went out and got a hearing aid and I still couldn’t hear . Someone told her to go to an ENT doctor and lo and behold, she had an earful of impacted wax. Her hearing problem was solved.

If it is an actual loss your friend will not succumb to your insistence . I would not shout anymore. Speak in a normal voice and shift the frustration from you to him/her. How does your friend do with movies or tv? Tell other people not to shout. Your friend will eventually (hopefully) come to their own awareness when they realize they are missing a lot. I think shouting and constant repeating is a form of enabling. Won’t be easy for you and might cause friction between you.

FL Mary

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In response to FL Mary's reply to mari: Please keep in mind that some of us have really serious cases of Meniere's, which offers FLUCTUATING hearing loss and severe distortion accompanied by recruitment. On good days, with my aid in what used to be my "good" ear, I can understand half of what's being said if there's not too much background noise. On a bad day, I can hear that people are speaking, but the speech is so garbled that I cannot understand any words. It's not a case of turning up the sound on my aid because the sound is arriving, just not in a way that's understandable. In fact, on some really bad days, I cannot even tolerate wearing the aid because the jumble of sound is actually physically painful. The bad times have no connection to diet, amount of rest, stress, or anything else I've been able to pinpoint. Sometimes my hearing gets worse at some point during the day, sometimes I wake up in the morning not understanding. Most times, it gets slightly less bad over time; sometimes I can hear fairly well a couple of hours later. The only thing I know to do is just sit quietly and hope it will pass, that words will begin to emerge occasionally, then more often.

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@imallears

@mari

Hi

Would your friend be open to just going to an ENT doctor for a physical check of his/her ears for a possible wax buildup. Could be impacted wax that is causing the problem and not an actual hearing loss. No need to get tested at that time…see what the doctor says. Happened to an aunt of mine years ago. She went out and got a hearing aid and I still couldn’t hear . Someone told her to go to an ENT doctor and lo and behold, she had an earful of impacted wax. Her hearing problem was solved.

If it is an actual loss your friend will not succumb to your insistence . I would not shout anymore. Speak in a normal voice and shift the frustration from you to him/her. How does your friend do with movies or tv? Tell other people not to shout. Your friend will eventually (hopefully) come to their own awareness when they realize they are missing a lot. I think shouting and constant repeating is a form of enabling. Won’t be easy for you and might cause friction between you.

FL Mary

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imallears TKX FOR YOUR SUGGESTIONS. I will try to follow your advice. It has caused friction! I hope friend will be open to just going to an ENT doctor for a physical check of his/her ears for a possible wax buildup. REALLY Hope that it is THAT SIMPLE! FRICTION IS TERRIBLE.

Liked by kirstenhw

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@joyces
Hi,
I know how difficult it is to live with Menieres as I have friends who have that condition. My hearing loss is in the profound range and I have good days and bad days as do a lot of hearing impaired people. Hearing can fluctuate , for me , on a daily basis sometimes. I don’t know if @mari’s friend has good and bad days also. At the end of the day I hear less well and I notice that temperature changes affect my hearing…sometimes the cold can make it worse or better. Someone speaking loud actually distorts the sound and ability to comprehend. Very loud prolonged noise aggregates my tinnitus which usually doesn’t bother me much. I have never pinpointed diet as a culprit either but do try to avoid too much caffeine and ibuprofen.

I’m hoping that @maris friend will be amenable to visiting an ENT solely for the purpose of possible wax removal and an exam. Not sure if her friend is male or female but men notoriously drag their feet when it comes to anything medical. Her friend needs to be manipulated a bit and I’m hoping a little tough love will help to get her friend where he/she needs to be.

FL Mary

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@devay

Mari, first, did you check with Costco about replacing your lost hearing aid? On the Costco website, it says "Free loss and damage coverage (with no deductible)." Second, it is great that you care about your friend's hearing because friends and family are often responsible for persuading people to get tested for hearing loss & then, to get hearing aids. You could ask her why she is hesitant. I've read that on average people wait 5-7 years (after they realize that they have hearing loss, which my not be immediate!) to get tested, then wait a few more years to get hearing aids. Now scientist are studying untreated hearing loss and the increase in dementia and depression. You can watch this video on CBS news: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hearing-aids-you-aint-heard-nothing-yet-2019/ Maybe she will watch it with you, too. Frank Lin, a physician at Johns Hopkins University, has conducted a lot of research – you can google his name or I can send some more links. Another thing to know is the longer one waits to be treated, the more difficult to adjust and the less effective the adjustment may be. This is because your brain actually changes how it works, when you have hearing loss (search Anu Sharma at Univ Colorado). This information was enough to motivate me to wear my hearing aid more regularly. Not to mention you just want to be part of the conversation, literally. Here is a quick quiz that may help determine whether one should be tested (though people may deny that they are experiencing any issues even as those around them say that they are!): https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/do-you-need-hearing-test. Also the Costco website has Frequently Asked Questions that may provide some guidance for talking to your friend. Good luck!

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OMG this is my mom in a nutshell! I did finally get her tested and she has HAs in both ears and now refuses to wear them. She’s been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and I know for a fact she’s profoundly depressed – she has an Rx for anti-depressants that she used to take but now won’t do that either. It infuriates me. I deeply love my mom but I feel like she’s actively avoiding helping herself.

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kirstenhw If you accompany Mom to Dr. – tell Dr. of your frustration. when DR. gives advice – then it will b coming from an Authority – Not just from child. My Mom would follow dr. orders quite well. My sympathies.

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@kirstenhw

OMG this is my mom in a nutshell! I did finally get her tested and she has HAs in both ears and now refuses to wear them. She’s been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and I know for a fact she’s profoundly depressed – she has an Rx for anti-depressants that she used to take but now won’t do that either. It infuriates me. I deeply love my mom but I feel like she’s actively avoiding helping herself.

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@kristenhw

Hi,

Resistance to wearing aids is so common in older people and may be due to an inability to adapt to change. Finding out why is important as the aids may be uncomfortable or the sound too loud. Resistance to taking medications is also common. People have suggested, especially if you are dealing with someone who has cognitive impairment, to give the medication in a completely calm environment..ie no tv or other distractions. There are also suggestions to not let them see the pill bottles as they get overwhelmed if there are too many. I think a calm environment might be the key so they feel more secure. Lord knows patience is required and can be so difficult on the part of the caregiver.

FL Mary

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Agree, seeing the ENT about possible ear wax buildup is a great first step!

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@kirstenhw

OMG this is my mom in a nutshell! I did finally get her tested and she has HAs in both ears and now refuses to wear them. She’s been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment and I know for a fact she’s profoundly depressed – she has an Rx for anti-depressants that she used to take but now won’t do that either. It infuriates me. I deeply love my mom but I feel like she’s actively avoiding helping herself.

Jump to this post

She is not avoiding helping herself, it just looks that way. Let her know you love her and that you see how scary her world has become for her. She is afraid and the world isn't making sense anymore. I hope she is in a safe situation with loving caregivers who can take the time to coax her into taking the meds and using the HAs. You're such an amazing daughter, you care so deeply. Breathe through the hard moments, celebrate the decent moments and take good care of yourself.

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Have had H Aids for 2 years. Very unhappy with them. Extraneous noise makes conversation extremely difficult. One on one is fine. Don't expect too much.

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