Going for a first hearing test, or seeking help with your hearing aids, can be daunting. Many people fear the results, or worry that they won’t be able to express their experiences accurately. While some people like to attend alone, others like to bring a loved one with them- but which is better? Recently, healthcare practice has moved in the direction of ‘family centered care’, and this is particularly helpful in hearing management. While it is ultimately the patient’s decision, having a loved one present can be helpful for a number of reasons.

Hearing loss affects the whole family. Sometimes a loss of hearing can be noticed by the spouse or child before the person is aware of it themselves. Hearing reports from the family can help the audiologist to get a fuller picture of the functional impact the hearing loss is having on the individual and the group. Your family member or loved one also knows you better than we do, and might be able to share a perspective or experience that you may have forgotten about.

Having a family member present will give the patient additional support. Sometimes the person feels uncertain about coming for the test, or shy to mention a symptom they might think of as ‘silly’. Having someone there who knows you well can give you the confidence to share all of your experiences. There is also often a lot of information to take it, and it can be helpful to have a second set of ears to help you remember everything.

Finally, having a trusted loved one present can help you make a decision about management. Again, there is often a lot of information to absorb, and a lot of options, and having someone else there, involved in the discussion, can help you to make a decision. They might also have some questions which you might not have thought of or remembered.

As mentioned above, it is ultimately the patient’s decision about whether they would like a loved one to join them in their appointment with the audiologist. However, there are a lot of benefits or having someone that you know and trust present at this important consultation. If you’d like to explore a more family-centered approach to management of hearing loss, consider asking your spouse, child, or close friend to attend with you.

For more information, or to make an appointment for a hearing consultation, comment below or contact us.