Living with hearing loss can make daily tasks require a lot more energy. It can also make someone miss out on special moments or on fully enjoying important milestones. Whether it is talking on the phone; ordering food at a restaurant; watching the news; attending a loved one’s graduation; hearing a loved one’s wedding vows; or simply being aware of someone knocking on the door, ringing the doorbell, or verbally trying to get their attention, living with hearing loss can greatly affect the way a person moves through the world. People often feel like they are missing out on the experiences of those around them and that can feel very isolating and lonely. Luckily there are ways to mitigate those effects for someone experiencing hearing loss. Before it is possible to get help though, you must first be aware of the signs that someone might be experiencing hearing loss in the first place.
Does your loved one often accuse you or the people around them of mumbling? Do they blame outside noise for not being able to hear you?
Hearing loss can make speech sound slurred, muddled, muffled, or quiet, so someone experiencing hearing loss might actually be hearing mumbling when someone is speaking to them seemingly clearly. Your loved one might also blame outside noise or other external factors for not being able to hear you. In these instances, your loved one might truly believe these are the reasons they are having trouble understanding someone speaking to them.
Does your loved one have trouble hearing the TV or turn the volume up super loud?
If you find watching TV with your loved one to be stressful or unpleasant, it might be due to hearing loss. While watching TV with a loved one who is experiencing hearing loss, you may often be asked to repeat the things the actors or newscasters are saying and the volume might be turned up uncomfortably high.
Does your loved one stay quiet during social gatherings? Do they seem less engaged in social settings than they used to?
If someone is experiencing hearing loss, socializing can be extremely difficult because it relies so heavily on engaging in conversation or simply being able to hear what others are saying whether someone chooses to speak or not. You might notice a loved one who used to be quite social deciding to stay in more and not make plans to see people as much. Socializing with hearing loss can be exceedingly draining and can leave a person exhausted after straining to hear for the duration of their socialization – another sign to look out for.
Does your loved one say “yes,” “no,” or laugh at times when that response does not seem appropriate?
A loved one who is struggling to hear and follow a conversation is likely to exhibit inappropriate or confusing participation in the conversation. If they are unable to hear what is being said clearly but are still engaging in conversation, it only makes sense that their responses will not always line up.
Does your loved one frequently say “What?” throughout conversations, ask you to repeat yourself, or ask you to “Speak up!” often?
This is one of the most common signs of hearing loss. You may believe yourself to be speaking both clearly and at a reasonable volume but your loved one still has trouble understanding you. This can be taxing for both you and your loved one but acts as a helpful sign to you that your loved one is experiencing hearing loss.
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, your loved one may be experiencing hearing loss. These are just some of the many signs a person might be experiencing hearing loss. If you have noticed these signs in relation to a loved one in your life, it might be time for them to get a hearing test from an audiologist.