Many, if not most, of us experience hearing loss as we age. However, sometimes it might be hard to notice, especially when it comes on slowly. With proper intervention, nobody has to live with untreated hearing loss. Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of hearing loss in your loved one, and how you can help support them in their hearing health journey.
Have you noticed your loved one…
- Asking you to repeat yourself? This is one of the most common signs of hearing loss. If your loved one is frequently asking you to repeat what you just said, or asking you what others said, chances are they’re experiencing diminishing hearing.
- “Ignoring you” when your back is turned? Many people can hide their hearing loss by relying on lip reading to supplement their hearing. However, if their back or the speaker’s back is turned, they may not be able to hear you at all.
- Turning up the volume on the TV? Does your loved one’s television sound uncomfortably loud when you visit? Do they ask you to keep turning it up when they visit you? This is another common symptom of untreated hearing loss.
- Complaining people are mumbling? Your loved one may be unable to hear certain sounds and frequencies due to hearing loss, which can make it sound like people aren’t speaking clearly. Some sounds can also seem muffled or distorted to them.
- Fatigued after social interactions? Untreated hearing loss can make the brain tired from struggling to make sense of sound. This can wear a person out, mentally, and physically. They may begin withdrawing from social events.
Supporting a loved one with hearing loss
The AARP reports that 80 percent of adults between ages 55 and 74 who could benefit from hearing aids don’t use them. Following are some talking points if your loved one or partner is resisting having a conversation about hearing aids.
- Hearing aids can prevent cognitive decline. Research shows untreated hearing loss is associated with a faster rate of cognitive decline. Proper use of hearing aids can lower your risk of dementia and other conditions.
- Today’s hearing aids are discreet and stylish. The days of big bulky hearing aids are over. Today, devices come in a wide variety of models, styles, and colors.
- Hearing aids allow better communication with family. If your loved one doesn’t want to do it for themselves, ask them to do it for you. One person’s hearing loss can affect the entire family. Talk about the sounds and memories you don’t want them to miss.
- Go ahead and name drop. Point out that a lot of celebrities and musicians proudly wear hearing aids. For example, Nils Lofgren from Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and Bryan Hitt from REO Speedwagon both wear Oticon More™ hearing aids.
And finally, offer to show them our free online hearing test to help get your loved one started on their hearing health journey.