Did you know that hearing loss affects approximately 30 million people in the United States? According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), that number accounts for nearly 13 percent of the country’s population. Someone you know and love could be experiencing hearing loss right now. Here are four telltale signs to watch for if you suspect that your loved one may be having trouble with their hearing.
They Aren’t Calling as Frequently
Have you noticed recently that your friend, who once called you on the phone daily, only calls every couple of weeks? Often, people who are experiencing some form of hearing loss may become reluctant to make phone calls. Talking on the phone becomes challenging and embarrassing because they cannot hear the conversation as well as they once could. While this isn’t necessarily a definitive indicator of hearing loss, it is something that warrants attention if there are additional signs of hearing trouble present.
They sit Quietly During Family Dinners
Has your outgoing, hilarious brother-in-law been sitting quietly recently during large family dinners? One of the common signs that someone is having trouble hearing is social withdrawal. This is especially true when it comes to participating in conversations in large crowds. Fast-moving discussions where many people are talking can be difficult to follow for individuals with hearing loss. If you’ve noticed recently that your loved one isn’t enjoying dinner conversations like they once did, it may be time to talk to them one-on-one about their hearing.
They ask you to Repeat Yourself Often
Does your loved one frequently ask you to repeat what you’ve just said? This is one of the telltale signs of a hearing issue. If you’ve noticed that having a conversation with your family member or friend has become difficult because they seem as though they aren’t listening or they’re asking you to repeat yourself often, they could be experiencing dulled hearing.
They’ve Been Feeling Depressed
If left untreated, hearing loss can take its toll on your mental health. Issues like anxiety, depression, and social isolation are common among those with hearing issues. Has your loved one confided in you that they’ve been feeling depressed? If so, encourage them to schedule an appointment with their primary care physician in order to get to the bottom of the issue. Their depression could be related to a problem with their hearing. Over time, those with hearing loss can become increasingly socially isolated, which can take its toll on their mental health. A simple hearing test might be the exact thing that they need to feel better.
Hearing loss is more common than many people think. Thankfully, there are a number of solutions available for someone who is experiencing dulled hearing. Watch for these telltale signs, and consider approaching the subject with your loved one if you suspect there may be an issue. Getting to the bottom of their hearing loss issues by scheduling an appointment with a specialist can improve their quality of life immensely.