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Detecting Hearing Loss Among Friends and Family

Detecting Hearing Loss Among Friends and Family

As we embark on the holiday season, we all tend to begin the process of preparing for the season’s events. During the holidays, we may gather in large groups filled with our family, friends, and loved ones. These holiday events may have a lot of background noise that include clattering plates, chattering, and music. Holiday parties and dinners are known to be challenging listening situations for everyone, but they are especially difficult for individuals with untreated hearing loss. While spending time in these environments, some of us may start to notice the signs of hearing loss among our friends and family members.

Clinical signs of hearing loss are not always obvious and can often go undetected. The common symptoms of declining hearing include:

  • Difficulty hearing in noise
  • Frequently saying: "what?" or "can you repeat that?"
  • Leaning in closer to hear better
  • Asking someone to move closer or face you in order to hear better
  • Feeling like people are mumbling

Some of these symptoms may be behaviors that are utilized to compensate for a hearing loss. For example, when we ask a speaker to face us it is because we are accessing lip cues to understand words. People with a hearing loss are often the last ones to know they struggle to hear.

If you are concerned that a loved one may be experiencing hearing loss, you may want to plan to address this with them. A majority of hearing issues resulting in diagnosis and treatment arise from concerned family members. Hearing loss not only affects the individual with the hearing condition, it also often affects family and friends. These are the individuals asked so often to repeat themselves or make accommodations.

Valley Health Ear Nose and Throat specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss.

Clinical Audiologist, Natalie Raney AU.D., CCC-A, believes in the importance of hearing health and is accepting new patients. If you or a loved one wish to schedule a hearing examination or are interested in learning more, please contact Natalie and Valley Health Ear Nose and Throat at 540-635-0795.