Hearing loss solutions have come a long way since your grandparents’ day and age.
For one in four Canadians, hearing loss is a day-to-day experience that too often goes untreated. It takes the average person in this country seven years before they act to address their symptoms. By then, damage in the ear has likely progressed so far that it starts limiting the brain’s ability to process the complex sounds that make socializing and listening to music easy to enjoy.
Hearing loss reveals itself in subtle ways and can be hard to catch. If someone close to you is showing early signs of damaged hearing, it’s important to take action.
Taking a hearing test, either online or in person, is a good idea for anyone hoping to hear clearly into their retirement years. Having healthy ears is also key to appreciating the people and activities that you love.
Here are the most common signs you should be aware of for your friends, your family, and those you care for.
Difficulty hearing someone speaking in a group or noisy room
Being able to socialize at family get-togethers, parties and business meetings is important, and hearing loss can get in the way. If your loved one is unable to understand what the person next to them is saying in a crowded room, make sure you book them an appointment with a hearing professional as soon as you can. They can help make sure that your loved one is never out of the loop again.
Perceiving others to be mumbling
Thinking that others are slurring their words or mumbling is a definite sign that someone’s ears aren’t doing as well as they should be. It’s more likely that they’re having difficulty with their hearing than it is that everyone around them is muttering under their breath. Recognizing that, and making a visit to a local clinic, is the first step towards being able to understand every word they hear perfectly again.
Understanding adults more easily than children
This can be particularly frustrating for loving parents, grandparents and other caretakers of children. Spending quality time with little ones can be one of the greatest joys in a guardian’s life, and the health of their hearing shouldn’t get in the way. Difficulty understanding children’s voices occurs because they often have higher-pitched voices than adults. High frequency hearing loss is a common ailment for people of all ages.
Regularly having to ask people to repeat themselves
Saying, “Sorry, I didn’t quite catch that,” can get tiring when someone is living with hearing loss. It creates a communication barrier between you and your loved ones and makes it difficult to relax in social situations. If you notice your loved one often asking others to repeat themselves, it may mean that you need to get professional advice about which step to take next.
Hearing better in one ear than the other
Years of exposure to industrial noise, loud music or other high-volume sounds can do significant damage to one ear but leave the other largely intact. Only being able to comprehend what’s going on from one side of the body doesn’t need to be a regular part of anyone’s life. Providing your loved one with a discreet and expertly-made hearing aid can help them perceive sounds they haven’t heard in years, no matter where they’re coming from.
Difficulty hearing the television or radio
Watching programs on TV or listening to the radio should be fun, not challenging. Regardless of which type of hearing loss is causing your loved one’s struggle, take preventative measures to make sure that it doesn’t get any worse. Take them to see a health-care provider so that they won’t have to miss any more breaking news, punchlines or important plot twists while binging on the shows or podcasts that keep your family entertained.
Even if you’re lucky enough to hear perfectly today, wearing ear protection in loud environments and avoiding prolonged noise exposure is imperative to staying that way. And of course, it’s important to routinely get your (and your family’s) hearing checked.