Hearing loss can be difficult to recognize at first, especially if the person with hearing loss has lost their hearing gradually, over the course of a few years. Your loved one may not even notice that they have hearing loss because they have grown so accustomed to not hearing well. It’s important for you to help them identify the signs of hearing loss and encourage them to see a hearing specialist.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
The signs of hearing loss can vary depending on the type of hearing loss and the degree. There are some common signs though that your loved one may have hearing loss and their hearing should be evaluated.
They frequently ask others to repeat themselves. One of the most obvious signs of hearing loss is asking the speaker to repeat themselves multiple times. When a loved one can’t hear well, they will often ask for the speaker to repeat themselves.
They respond inappropriately to questions or jokes. Sometimes, a loved one may respond to a question inappropriately because they couldn’t hear what was being asked. They may answer a completely different question and come across as confused.
They complain that people are mumbling. A loved one with hearing loss may blame others for not speaking loud enough or mumbling. This is often a type of defense mechanism or form of denial. Sounds can seem muffled to someone with hearing loss, making it seem like the people around them are mumbling even when they’re not.
They have the TV volume turned up louder than normal. If the volume on the TV is turned up louder than usual, or seems uncomfortably loud, that is a common sign that your loved one may have hearing loss. If you’re watching TV with a loved one and they keep asking you to turn the volume up, that is also an indication of hearing loss as well.
They can’t hear the doorbell or the phone ringing. Sounds like the doorbell or the phone ringing can often go unnoticed by those with hearing loss. If you notice a loved one is missing phone calls or not hearing the door then they could be experiencing hearing loss.
They miss what you said if your back is turned towards them. Many people with hearing loss believe their hearing is fine because they understand sounds when they are facing the speaker and can see their mouth. This is because they are usually depending on lip reading to understand what is being said. If you turn your back to your loved one and speak to them they may miss what you are saying.
What You Can Do
If you’ve noticed any of these signs in a loved one, then they may have hearing loss. It’s important to be encouraging to your loved one, and never act accusatory towards them. The best way to help them is to sit down with them and have a conversation. Tell them you are concerned about them because you have noticed some signs of hearing loss. Encourage them to see an audiologist or hearing specialist to have their hearing checked. Offering to go with them to the appointment can help them feel more comfortable as well.
Hearing loss is incredibly common, affecting over 58 million Americans. Some people who have hearing loss feel embarrassed or ashamed because they believe it is a sign of old age. However, anyone can have hearing loss, even children. Sometimes, hearing loss can be the result of an underlying health condition. To ensure their overall health is in-check, it’s important that your loved one visits a hearing professional. Discover local hearing specialists in your area and see how they can help your loved one hear better and stay healthy.