What Was That, Darling?' And Other Signs Your Loved One's Hearing Is Struggling

It isn't always easy to notice declines in our loved ones' health. While we all want to be that supportive family member, our own desire to keep everyone safe can too often blind us from the truth. This is the case as our parents' age, or our teens slip into depression. And, it's also relevant where hearing is concerned. 

Sadly, hearing loss isn’t unusual, and is suspected in as many as 48 million Americans alone. That's a significant amount of people, and there's a strong chance at least one member of your family will be among them.

While most prevalent among elderly patients, even youngsters could struggle in this sense. That's why you should always keep an eye out for the following indications that a family member’s hearing isn’t what it should be. 

Repetition, repetition, repetition

Most commonly, individuals experiencing hearing loss will ask you to repeat yourself, even when you're alone together in a quiet room. You may also find that they blame you for the issue, suggesting you're mumbling, or that you need to speak up. The majority of the time, though, anyone asking you to repeat yourself more than two or three times is likely experiencing issues of their own.

Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir

Often, a family member experiencing hearing loss will stop responding in the ways you might expect. Often, they'll say 'yes' or 'no' as blanket answers at strange times to keep a conversation going. Most often, such responses will come after a delay on your part and may be accompanied with a hopeful smile. Deep down, though, there's a real risk your loved one hasn't a clue what they've agreed to or declined. 

The no-phone policy

If they've been living with unaddressed hearing loss for a while, there’s a chance that your loved one will have developed reasonable lip-reading skills. This can make recognition of issues harder to come by, but it's a limited cover-up. Mobiles, in particular, can soon give things away. If your loved one has stopped answering their phone when you contact them or don't seem to respond when their message tone goes off in your vicinity, it's a revealing sign that their hearing is suffering, no matter how well they can hold down a conversation.

Busted balance

Admittedly, a sudden change in balance can be a sign of a few different health conditions, but hearing difficulties are often behind this issue. Everything from tinnitus to ear infection and beyond can lead to dizziness and other cognitive impairments. If you notice your loved one suddenly swaying or falling a lot more than they used to, it's possible they aren't being entirely truthful about what's going on with their ears.

The vital thing to do, in each of these instances, is to understand your loved one's reluctance to address the issue. Facing hearing loss head-on can be petrifying! But, with your love, support, and insight, they might just find a new strength to get the help they need.

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