Loss of hearing is difficult for all of us to deal with. I always remind my patients that hearing loss is common and very treatable. If you think someone you love is experiencing a hearing loss, I recommend looking for any of these telltale signs.
Most Common Signs
There are varying degrees of hearing loss, and each person is affected differently. When dealing with someone over the age of 55, the signs become more prominent.
- Phone Calls – If the person in question is consistently asking you to speak up or to turn up the volume of your phone
- Media – Requesting that the TV or radio volume be turned up
- Regular Conversation – If your loved one is continuously asking you to repeat yourself
- Social Cues – Audible signaling is a part of life we all take for granted. Catching someone’s attention by saying their name should always incite a reaction.
- Aversion – Consciously removing oneself from situations to avoid scenarios where hearing may be difficult.
- Difficulty Walking – Using our senses is how we navigate the world. When one of those senses is diminished, it becomes harder to perform basic tasks. If your loved one demonstrates a lack of balance and unsteady walking, then it could be a sign of hearing loss.
Levels of Hearing Loss
Hearing issues can present themselves in a multitude of ways. For varying degrees of hearing loss, your loved one will fall into one of these categories:
1. Hard of Hearing – A person is considered hard of hearing if they have thresholds of less than 20 decibels. These cases involve mild, moderate, and severe loss of hearing. This can affect either one ear or both and will lead to difficulty hearing speech and other common sounds.
People who are hard of hearing will benefit greatly from hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other assistive devices.
2. Profound Hearing Loss – If a person is considered to have a profound hearing loss, then they have a total loss of hearing or very minimal abilities. They must rely on sign language or other non-auditory systems to communicate.
How To Get Your Loved One A Hearing Assessment
As humans, we are creatures of habit. If your loved one is over the age of 55 and showing signs of depleted hearing, then it may be difficult to get them to admit it.
It’s important to remember that they live with this condition every day, and they may not realize how serious the problem is. If this is the case, we suggest the following:
- Seek Help – We all have a person or people in our lives that we listen to. Your loved one may be comfortable saying no to you but has a lifelong friend that may be able to get through to them.
- Testimonials – Sharing success stories of people you know whose lives have improved from seeking help may persuade them.
- Stop Enabling – Every time you repeat yourself or turn up the TV, you make the problem worse. Doing these things by nature is helping but only in the short term. Over time, your loved one will experience more problems.
- Lead By Example – Educate yourself on procedures and processes associated with improving overall health care. While you’re taking your loved one to get a hearing assessment, why not get one yourself? It’s never too early to care about the health of your hearing.
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