I recently heard a client’s wife expressing sadness that his hearing loss excluded him from the beautiful conversation flowing around the table at family gatherings. She had to nudge him anytime his little granddaughter tried to talk to him. She couldn’t figure out why he’d refused hearing aids for so long. To her, he was stubborn and in denial.
Loved ones often don’t realise that hearing loss is a tricky beast. It sneaks up on you. A person with a hearing problem is often the last to notice it because the change comes on gradually and subtly. It makes sense that if you can’t hear something, to you it doesn’t exist.
A hearing problem doesn’t necessarily present as an inability to hear but rather an inability to understand. Your first clue is mixing up consonants. Age-related hearing loss often occurs in the high-frequency ranges that tend to carry the consonants.
So, if you’re convinced the whole damn world mumbles (while your spouse yells unnecessarily) you might want to consider the validity of those barbs about your hearing! You can read my blog The Top 5 Signs of Hearing Loss for more red flags.
And don’t rely on your doctor to pick up the need for a hearing test. They’re like the rest of us when it comes to this topic; they often normalise age related hearing loss. The problem with this is that it downplays the danger of untreated hearing loss. Increased risk of falls and dementia are just the tip of the iceberg… The longer you live with a lack of auditory stimulation, the harder and longer your rehabilitation with hearing aids.
(If you’ve tried hearing aids before but felt they provided no benefit or just made things worse, I’d encourage you to go back to your audiologist for fine tuning. You can also leave your name and email address in the comments below and I’ll send you a free copy of my guide to adjusting to hearing aids.)
Blamey Saunders hears came up with a clever, clinically-validated hearing test that will tell you where your hearing is at, in about 5 minutes. So, if you would like to prove your loved ones wrong, take it and you’ll receive an instant report of your ability to hear all the different sounds of speech.
If you’re still not convinced by your loved one’s unrelenting remarks about your listening ability, even after testing, pay attention to every time you say “pardon?” this week, and every time you can’t catch the dialogue on TV. After that, if you think you have hearing loss, you probably do.