Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Caregivers: Top Warning Signs of Hearing Loss

Male doctor knows the top warning signs of hearing loss

Knowing the top warning signs of hearing loss can help caregivers identify a problem with a loved one and also help them when it comes to dealing with a loved one's denial. Initial evidence that there is a hearing problem can be the first step in getting someone you love to face their hearing loss.

The number one cause of hearing loss is noise, Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). NIHL is the only kind of preventable hearing loss and is on the rise among all age groups. This type of hearing loss, like most types, can be recognized by learning the top warning signs of hearing loss. Overcoming the casual dismissal and denial of top hearing loss warning signs starts with recognizing them. Below is a list of top hearing loss signs.

Tinnitus-- a ringing or buzzing in the ears that can be high pitched. It is sometimes accompanied by vertigo, and can be intermittent or steady.

Inability to Hear Female or Child Voices--Females and children speak in a higher register, so one of the first signs of hearing loss is the inability to hear these higher pitched voices. If you or your loved one consistently feels that women or children are mumbling around you, see an audiologist.

Television Volume--Needing to turn the television up louder than others say is comfortable can be a sign of hearing loss. This is also the easiest sign to ignore as the person who does this is more likely to blame the television than their own ears.

Inability to Hear High-Pitched Sounds--a phone ringing, a child's cry, the trill of a bird are all high-pitched sounds that can begin to fade as a person develops hearing loss. Missing phone calls or struggling to hear any high-pitched sounds is an immediate warning sign of hearing loss.

Asking to Have Things Repeated--Having to frequently ask people to repeat things can be embarrassing. This discomfort means that people can ignore this sign of hearing loss or try to cover it up. If your loved one asks you to repeat parts of conversations or responds inappropriately to things said, it is time to see an audiologist.

Inability to Understand in Crowds--Not being able to hear what people are saying in a crowded restaurant or room is one of the most frustrating things about hearing loss. It is also why many people begin to avoid socializing. This withdraw can lead to depression and isolation.

Depression--According to Dr. Claudia Dewane in her article Hearing Loss in Older Adults--Its Effect on Mental Health, "Hearing loss can create a psychological solitary confinement." This confinement can lead to feelings of depression that are quite often misconstrued, so that the cause--hearing loss goes recognized.

Forgetfulness--Research done on Alzheimer's and dementia show that there is an increased risk of these conditions if a person is suffering from hearing loss. According to Dr. Jonathan Peelle that's because, “Even subtle changes in hearing appear to have an impact on the brain.” This is yet another important reason to familiarize yourself and loved ones with the top signs of hearing loss.

If you have noticed any of these top signs of hearing loss, it is important to get help for yourself or a loved one. Untreated hearing loss is tied to depression, lower quality of life, isolation, Alzheimer's, and dementia.

If you'd like to learn more, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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