Signs of hearing loss to watch for in your loved one

January 17, 2023

Just as time seems to pass quickly, it can feel like our family members are aging at an accelerated pace. It can be difficult to see them go through the natural aging process and experience the challenges that come with it. We may feel helpless as we watch them struggle with declining health or other age-related issues, and it can be emotionally challenging to accept that they are not as young and vibrant as they once were.

Hearing loss is a common problem among older adults. In fact, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), about one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 have some degree of hearing loss, and this number increases to about one in two for those over the age of 75. This is largely due to the natural aging process, which can cause changes in the inner ear that make it more difficult for the brain to process sounds. Additionally, exposure to loud noises over time can also contribute to hearing loss.

How can you tell if your loved one has hearing loss?
Here are some of the common signs.

They blame the speaker when they can’t understand what has been said.

People with hearing loss may blame others for mumbling because they have difficulty understanding speech. When someone is speaking and they are not clearly articulating their words, it can be frustrating for someone with hearing loss because it makes it even harder for them to understand what is being said. This can lead to feelings of frustration and resentment, which may cause the person with hearing loss to blame others for not speaking clearly.

They say no to social events.

If they are invited to a party or a restaurant, the prospect of multiple conversations happening at once may be daunting. Many people experiencing hearing loss may withdraw from friends and loved ones, avoid social situations, and lose touch. This can lead to feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.

They have the TV on real loud.

Hearing loss can make it more difficult for a person to hear and understand speech, especially in noisy environments or when multiple people are speaking at once. As a result, they may have the TV on louder in order to be able to hear and understand what is being said more easily.

Additionally, hearing loss can cause a person’s ability to hear high-frequency sounds, such as the sound of someone’s voice, to decrease over time. This can make it harder for them to hear and understand speech, even with the TV on at a normal volume.

They often have falls and accidents.

Has your loved one had a fall recently? Hearing loss could be to blame. The inner ear is a complex organ that contains both the auditory system, which is responsible for hearing, and the vestibular system, which is responsible for maintaining balance. When someone has hearing loss, it means that the auditory system is not functioning properly, which can affect the function of the vestibular system. If the inner ear is not functioning properly due to hearing loss, the information it provides to the brain about balance and movement will be distorted, making it harder for us to maintain our balance and leading to more falls.

If your loved one is experiencing any of these signs, it may be worth discussing the possibility of hearing loss with them and encouraging them to see a doctor for a hearing evaluation. Hearing loss can initially be difficult to detect in loved ones, as it often occurs gradually and can be difficult for the person experiencing it to recognize. If your loved one is at the point where the hearing loss is obvious to everyone around them, they are a prime candidate for hearing treatment.

How to encourage your loved one to get hearing treatment.

If your loved one is experiencing hearing loss, it can be a difficult and frustrating experience for them. It is important to approach the situation with empathy and sensitivity.

Here are some ways you can encourage your loved one to seek treatment for their hearing loss:

  • Express your concern for their well-being and let them know that you are there to support them.
  • Provide information about the treatment options available and how they can improve their quality of life.
  • Offer to go with them to their appointment with a hearing specialist to provide emotional support and assist with communication.
  • Encourage them to try out different hearing aids or other assistive devices to see which one works best for them.
  • Be patient and understanding, and avoid shouting or over-enunciating words.
  • Encourage them to stay engaged and active in their daily life and participate in activities they enjoy.

It is important to remember that each person is different and may have different needs and preferences when it comes to treating their hearing loss. It is important to approach the situation with empathy and understanding, and to provide support and encouragement as they navigate this difficult experience.

If your loved one is showing signs of hearing loss and would like a consultation, we can make it easy. Our Audiologists make house calls in New York and New Jersey, providing high quality audiological care in the comfort of our patients homes. Contact us today to schedule!