According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately one out three seniors aged 65 years old and above have some form of hearing loss. However, as hearing loss is something you can’t see, it’s typically only noticed when certain behaviors of affected individuals suddenly change.
Family members are usually the first ones to notice that a senior loved one is having difficulty hearing. However, as senior health care service providers noted, they don’t want to acknowledge it right away because they fear that their loved one would lash out, deny it, or try to hide their symptoms.
What are the Common Signs of Hearing Loss in Seniors?
Steady and slow hearing loss is usually due to changes in the inner ear because of aging. The older you are, the higher the possibility that you’ll experience hearing loss. If you’re concerned that a loved one might have hearing loss, below are some warning signs to watch out for:
- Having difficulty conversing on the telephone and/or mobile phone
- Turning the volume of the television or radio too high
- Having difficulty following a conversation when multiple people are talking at the same time
- Physically straining to hear when someone’s speaking to them
- Always asking people to repeat what they said or complaining that people don’t speak properly or mumble
- Mistaking what others say or ask and then responding in an unexpected way
- Having difficulty hearing in noisy places, like a restaurant or mall
- Complaining of lightheadedness, dizziness, and ringing or pain in the ears
Other common signs also include personality changes, like when your senior loved one used to love going out with friends, but now refuses to spend time with people, especially in big groups.
Why Early Intervention is Crucial
If your senior loved one’s hearing loss is not diagnosed and treated promptly, it could result in damage to certain parts of their brain that are related to hearing. Put simply, when nerves fail to receive signals, they would eventually stop functioning.
Bearing these in mind, the minute you notice that your loved one is having difficulty hearing, consult their doctor as soon as possible. The doctor would help you break the news to your loved one, have them undergo a hearing test, and rule out other potential causes.