How to Tell if a Loved One Has Hearing Loss

smiling senior cupping hand to ear

Many people who have hearing loss are not aware, especially if the loss is gradual. This article will discuss how to tell if a loved one has hearing loss and when they need to see a hearing specialist for diagnosis. 

Mishearing Words with Similar Sounds

The first obvious sign that something might be wrong is in situations where someone repeats what you say, asks you to repeat yourself or asks other people in the room to contribute their input about something you just said. A person with hearing loss will often miss out on important information when talking with others because they cannot hear certain sounds or pick up on subtle cues like facial expressions, body language and tone of voice. 

People close to them may notice this behavior, but they may also dismiss it as normal since it happens all the time. The person with hearing loss may even deny there is a problem since it is often subtle and does not affect every aspect of communication.

Not Hearing Normal Volumes

Another way to tell if someone has hearing loss is by asking them which side the television or radio should be on. If you notice that they place the speaker on their bad side, then this could indicate that they are having difficulty hearing what you are saying from the other side of the room. Other clues include turning up the volume on telephones or car radios abnormally high or asking people to lean in closer when speaking with them so that they can hear better. 

Difficulty Understanding Words

Again, this is a sign that they cannot hear certain frequencies due to damaged cochlear cells. They may also ask others to speak up or stop mumbling because they cannot make out what is being said or miss out on phone calls or conversations even if the volume is turned up high. If you notice any of these common signs, schedule an appointment with a hearing health professional to examine their ears and determine whether there is hearing loss. 

If you perform this check yourself at home, it can be easy for loved ones with hearing loss to deny having a problem just so that you will leave them alone. However, when this test is performed by someone who has no emotional attachment to them, then dealing with rejection becomes much easier than using your own judgment as a friend or family member. 

A hearing health professional will identify the degree and type of hearing loss, whether it is one-sided or both and whether there is any improvement that can be made to the ear with hearing aids, surgery or other devices. Hearing loss may also be temporary and due to loud sounds like music at concerts and regular exposure to everyday loud noises from lawn equipment. If this is the case, it often subsides after a few days once the person has been away from those sources for some time.  If you suspect your loved one has hearing loss, schedule an appointment with a hearing health professional today! They will look into their ears with otoscopes to determine if any problems affect their hearing ability.