Worried A Friend Or Loved One Has Hearing Loss?
Unlike a broken arm or a bruised body, hearing loss can be quite difficult for someone who suffers it to recognize. This is because of the nature of the onset of hearing loss, it is rarely sudden, and often develops gradually. Quite often the very last person to realize they have hearing loss is the person suffering with it. A hearing loss happens over many years in a slow and almost insidious manner. Because of this slow process and the slow change in a person’s terms of reference. It can be many years before someone realizes that they have a hearing loss.
Hearing Loss More Apparent To You
Hearing loss is unlike sight loss, when you have problems with your sight, you know it immediately. However when you cannot hear a sound, it simply no longer exists for you. Hearing loss is often more apparent for the people around the person suffering. For this reason, the people involved with a person with hearing loss are key players in helping them overcome hearing loss. But how can you tell if they are having trouble hearing?
Signs Of Hearing Loss
- Difficulty understanding people, especially in crowded places like bars or restaurants
- Asking people to repeat themselves
- The need to have instructions repeated
- A high volume level on the TV or stereo
- Difficulty hearing telephone conversations
- Difficulty when people are speaking in another room
If Your Friend Or Loved One displays These Signs, Encourage Them To Take The First Step To Better Hearing
The Impact Of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss greatly impacts the quality of a person’s life and it can be particularly hard to watch a loved one struggle with their hearing. In many cases, their hearing loss is more apparent to you than it is to them. If hearing loss is left untreated, it can leave a person feeling isolated or withdrawn to a level where they avoid social situations and contact. It very often is frustrating for both the person experiencing hearing loss and those around them. It often leads to tension which further increases the feeling of isolation and may re-enforce the withdrawal from social activities. If any of the signs of hearing loss are a common occurrence with your loved one, then it is time to consider seeking some help.
Difficulty Understanding People, Especially In Crowded Places Like Bars Or Restaurants
Because of the nature of most hearing loss, the most difficult sounds to hear are the very soft consonants in speech. These are soft but important sounds in words, because they give words meaning. These sounds are of high importance in speech but they tend not to have a great deal of power. These sounds are even more difficult to hear when there is any level of background noise, which increases the problems for people with hearing loss.
Asking People To Repeat Themselves
Because it is difficult to understand some speech sounds, quite often someone with hearing loss may repeatedly ask someone to repeat themselves. The issue is a clarity problem usually, not necessarily a volume problem.
The Need To Have Instructions Repeated. A Clear Sign That There May Be A Problem
A person with hearing loss uses concentration as one of their coping mechanisms. Because “instruction” involves the passing of important information from the giver to the receiver, it requires an even greater level of concentration for the listener. The hearing loss becomes more obvious when the person cannot achieve the needed level of concentration . It takes even more effort to understand and remember the information that is being passed on to them.
Withdrawal From Social Situations
This is an established and much studied implication and symptom of hearing loss. Eventually social situations become too tiring, frustrating and stressful. So people with hearing loss simply withdraw from them; it is simply much easier not to go. This can be devastating and studies have shown that it can lead to depression.
A High Volume Level On The TV Or Stereo
Traditionally this is one of the first and biggest signs of hearing loss, and it is also one of the biggest causes of arguments. It can in fact put a real strain on relationships. The reason for the issue is essentially the same as the problems for hearing in noise. Soft consonants can be very difficult for a person with hearing loss. This is often compounded by accents that a person is unfamiliar with.
Difficulty Hearing Telephone Conversations
Without visual cues, understanding voices on the telephone can be very problematic. Sometimes a volume control on the telephone will help, but again most often the issue is not of volume but clarity. Because specific sounds of speech may be missing for the listener, the words are difficult to understand. This is particularly true while trying to understand digits, such as a phone number that is being recorded.
Difficulty When People Are Speaking In Another Room
This is a combination of general volume of the voice and missing of the soft consonants in speech. Both cause real difficulties in this type of situation. Because the speaker is not visible and the listener is not able to Difficulty following group conversations Again mostly the issue here is with those consonants, it can be especially hard for a person with hearing loss to hear them. Particularly when people are talking across each other as happens in the best conversations. Further compounded by laughter as we all know happens in the best conversations.