10 February 2009

The bad hearing of relatives a delicate subject

If you find it difficult to broach the subject of bad hearing of a relative or friend you are not alone.

Almost half of the respondents in a new online survey conducted by hear-it said that they struggled with this issue when they tried to deal with it.

Forty-seven percent of those who had talked to a relative or friend about his or her hearing loss said they found broaching the subject bad hearing difficult. Altogether, 85 percent of the respondents reported that they had brought up the subject of bad hearing with a relative or friend, according to the survey conducted by the non-commercial hear-it organisation.

- Pointing out problems with bad hearing in those close to us is never easy, and for hearing impaired individuals the recognition of this problem can be a big step. But talking about bad hearing is actually the best thing to do, stated Kim Ruberg, Secretary General, Hear-it.

Ruberg found it encouraging that the vast majority of the respondents did broach the subject of bad hearing in spite of the awkwardness they had to overcome.

The influence of relatives essential

An earlier study by the Forum Gutes Hören national German hearing organization found that the influence of relatives and friends often make the difference when something is to be done about hearing problems.

- Family and friends can offer important support when a hearing impaired individual is trying to make up his or her mind about seeking treatment. All studies show that treatment of hearing loss, typically with hearing aids, results in significant improvements in the quality of life of the treated individual, stated Ruberg.

- Improvements are found in close social relationships otherwise adversely affected by hearing loss. Hearing aids help the hearing impaired individual function better within the family, with his or her spouse or partner, on the job and in every other situation involving hearing.

About the survey

120 hear-it users took part in the survey which was part of a series of surveys about life with hearing impairment.

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