Hearing loss is a normal part of the aging process, but it also can affect young people. Social stigma over such loss and resulting treatments leads many people to not seek help if they suffer from hearing loss, especially workplace hearing loss. As with most health issues, the earlier a problem is noticed and diagnosed, the better the chance of intervention and treatments to alleviate the problem. Since hearing loss can be gradual, it pays to be attentive to loved ones and notice when hearing loss affects quality of life.
One sign to pay attention to is the need for repetition. If you are being asked to continually repeat what you say to a loved one, there is a chance they may be suffering from mild hearing loss or their hearing is muffled. You can kindly point out, over time, the times you and others have to repeat words for the listener. Seek out a hearing screening test and go with your family member or friend to determine the degree of loss.
Even mild hearing loss affects quality of life. Another sign of possible hearing loss are conversations that are regularly misunderstood. If you ask for something and then receive something different in return, it is possible the listener failed to hear and, therefore, understand you. This inability can lead to stilted conversations, awkwardness, and increased isolation by the sufferer. If you suspect someone has hearing loss that affects their conversational ability, work with them to seek testing and treatment. Everyone’s quality of life is improved when hearing loss is treated.
Since the inability to hear often construed as confusion or even dementia, it is important to perform hearing tests if you suspect a person has mental confusion. It may be that what was thought to be dementia is actually a treatable hearing loss! Understanding that the problem is isolated to hearing issues and that treatments are available is a huge relief for many.
The inability to properly hear and communicate puts strain on both a person’s psyche as well as their relationships with others. This strain leads to fatigue and, eventually, a withdrawal from social and physical interactions. Again, the key is to encourage testing and treatment for any loved one you suspect suffers from hearing loss (see hearing loss and tumors). To determine whether a one-to-one consultation with our professional Audiologists would help you, try our online hearing test. Pay attention to the signs and take action.