Have My Parents Lost Their Hearing?

It’s common for sons and daughters to suspect their parents of hearing loss but sometimes it’s hard to be sure if hearing aids are the right solution. Some changes affect our loved ones so slowly that we aren’t sure what’s happening to them or why.

The aging process affects people in various ways. Older parents might lose their eyesight, strength, vitality and/or hearing abilities. Older parents may begin displaying unexplainable and odd behavior that doesn’t seem “like them” at all.

So how can you tell if your parents need hearing aids?

There are several signs and situations you should watch out for. However, every aging parent expresses their hearing loss in different ways. Here are some common general behaviors.

Some parents with hearing loss listen to radio, TV, music, or other entertainment/news at an unnecessary and uncomfortable volume and claim that it sounds “perfectly fine.” This is often an early indication that your parent might be losing their hearing.

Changes in personality are another common occurrence among those with hearing loss. Individuals who were once open and sociable may start to isolate themselves from friends and family. Studies by the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) have found a strong link between hearing loss, depression, and emotional instability. If you notice self-isolation and extreme emotional despondency in your parents, you and your parent(s) should deeply consider hearing aids as an option.

General unresponsiveness to the environment can also occur. Parents may not answer calls or their door simply because they can’t hear the phone in the other room or a knock on the door. This can be extremely dangerous in the case of a fire or other emergency.

Hearing loss can drastically decrease an individual’s standard of living due to its effect on emotional, social, and physical health. Seeing an audiologist or hearing instrument practitioner and getting a hearing test can profoundly improve a parent’s life and can give them a new sense of freedom. Contact a hearing care professional today to learn more.