Does your husband often miss what you are saying? Does your wife insist on turning the TV up too loud? Does a friend always ask you to repeat yourself? It could be a sign of a hearing loss.
"Of course I can't hear you, it's so loud in here!"
"I didn't hear you because you were mumbling!"
"I can hear everything I want to, and that's good enough for me."
You've probably heard excuses like these before when talking to your loved one. But don't be so quick to brush it off: it could be a sign that they are suffering from hearing loss.
Age-related hearing loss
develops slowly for many people, it is common and natural. What may start off as a minor nuisance can quickly build up to something that negatively impacts a person’s work, family and social life significantly.
Hearing loss facts
Could hearing aids help your loved one?
According to a recent study by the National Council on the Aging (NCOA), adults saw a huge improvement in their quality of life after getting hearing aids, with a 46% improvement in mental health, 30% improvement in self-confidence, and even an 8% improvement in their sex life.
Untreated hearing loss has serious emotional and social consequences for older people. You are a key player in helping your loved ones overcome hearing loss.
But, how can you be sure that they are having trouble hearing?
The Signs of Hearing Loss
Unlike a broken leg or a bruised elbow, hearing loss can be difficult to identify, especially since it often develops gradually. Throw in the social stigma and costs associated with hearing aids, it's no wonder people become reluctant to admit that they may have a problem.
"It is very sad that millions of older people are letting denial or vanity get in the way of treatments that can significantly improve the quality of their lives," said Dr. James Firman, President and CEO of The National Council on the Aging who suffers from hearing impairment himself.
"Doctors and family members should insist that hearing impaired seniors seek appropriate treatment."
7 Warning Signs
While hearing impairment can be a challenge to detect, here are 7 warning signs that you can look out for:
- They have difficulty understanding what people are saying to them, especially in crowded places like bars or restaurants
- They often ask to have instructions repeated
- They turn up the volume on the TV that is an uncomfortable level for others
- They have a difficult time conversing with others on the phone
- They have difficulty hearing when people are speaking in another room
- They frequently ask you or others to repeat what was said
- They withdraw from social situations (presumably out of fear of misunderstanding what the speaker is saying and responding inappropriately)
How you can help
Losing the sense of hearing can be an unnerving, awkward and even traumatic experience. Unfortunately, ignoring the problem won't make it go away. The sooner the issue is recognised, the quicker you can help your loved one get treated.
If you notice any of these warning signs, start a conversation with your loved one and encourage them visit a hearing professional. Or even just take a free online hearing test.
A qualified hearing specialist will be able to conduct a comprehensive hearing evaluation during the visit and advise next steps, such as treatment.
Book a free hearing health check at a bloom™ clinic near you and start enjoying life as it was meant to be.
 Access Economics, Listen Hear! The economic impact and cost of hearing loss in Australia, (February 2006), p. 41.