Recognizing the Signs of Hearing Loss in Others

Most types of hearing loss happen gradually over time. Many times the person experiencing the hearing loss may not even know they are experiencing difficulty. Because hearing loss has such an impact on our personal relationships, it is most often noticed by the people closest to us.

If you suspect someone in your life maybe experiencing symptoms of hearing loss, here are a few things to look for.

1. Increased volume of the TV
Many times this can be an indicator that a person is having hearing difficulty. It’s easy to turn the TV up just a little bit more to try to catch converations or dialogue on a program. But if the volume level becomes too loud for everyone else in the room, or is louder than normal conversation, it could be a sign that there is a problem.

2. Requests for repetition in conversation
If someone in your life is consistently asking you to repeat yourself or accuses you of mumbling, this could be a sign of hearing loss. While there are different types of hearing loss, some make it difficult for the brain to differentiate sounds. As an example, the differences between the “s” sound and the “th” sound. The ears can hear what is being said, but the brain has a difficult time distinguishing between the sounds. The listener may ask for repetition to really understand what is being said.

3. Strange responses to questions
When conversation becomes difficult, sometimes people will pretend to hear things when they haven’t actually understood what was said. They become tired of asking people to repeat themselves or they interpret what was said in a completely different way. This is a common phenomenon of hearing loss and can lead to frustration and miscommunication.

4. Isolation
We are social creatures, and isolation is one of the biggest problems associated with hearing loss. If you notice someone avoiding social get togethers, dinners or meetings in noisier places, they may be experiencing hearing loss. Time with other people boosts the chemicals in our brain that make us feel better, but when we have difficulty understanding others, hearing loss can make us want to withdraw and spend time alone.

If someone in your life seems to be experiencing these symptoms, consider bringing them into our office to have their hearing tested. If they seem hesitant, you can call our office for tips on how to talk with them about your concerns. Scheduling an exam for yourself along with theirs might be a way to eliminate some of the fear and show them that taking charge of your hearing is an important part of taking care of your overall health.