Our loved ones mean the world to us, and it can be difficult when they start to pull away from social situations. As we watch them age, we may notice changes in their behavior that could indicate a hearing loss. Hearing loss is a progressive condition that can go unnoticed for years, making it essential to identify the signs of hearing loss as early as possible. Here are some signs to look out for:
- The "Huh's" or "What's"? One of the most common signs of hearing loss is difficulty hearing conversations. You may notice that your loved one is always asking people to repeat themselves, or they may complain that others are speaking too softly. They may also turn up the volume on the television or radio to levels that others find uncomfortable.
- Avoiding Group Situations If your loved one starts to avoid social gatherings or group settings, it could be a sign of hearing loss. This is because it becomes increasingly difficult to follow conversations when there is background noise or when multiple people are talking at once. You might notice that they nod along to conversations without engaging, or they may not participate in discussions as actively as they once did.
- Forgetting Things Hearing loss can also impact memory retention. If your loved one starts to forget things more often, it could be because they did not hear the information in the first place. This can lead to feelings of frustration and may also cause them to withdraw from social situations.
- Asking for Repetitions If your loved one often asks people to repeat themselves or complains that they are mumbling, it could be a sign of hearing loss. People with hearing loss often rely on lip reading and facial cues to understand what others are saying, and if they cannot see your face when you're talking, they may not hear you well.
If you notice any of these signs in your loved one, it's important to approach the issue with empathy and understanding. Start by asking them how they feel about their hearing and be open and honest about what you've noticed. Encourage them to have a hearing test to understand their hearing ability and what they can do about it.
In Australia, it is recommended that adults aged over 50 should have an annual hearing check. Having a supportive person by their side can make all the difference in their health and wellbeing. Help them take the first step to better hearing and better relationships. Book a hearing test appointment with your local ihear clinic.
Remember, hearing loss can be managed effectively with the right treatment, and by addressing it early, you can help reduce frustrations and improve your loved one's quality of life.