Recognizing Signs of Hearing Loss
Did you know that 50% of people over 65 years of age have some degree of hearing loss.
By 2030, 25% of the Canadian population will be over 65 years old; many of whom will be affected by hearing loss. Hearing loss is an invisible disability which is often not detected or dealt with right away because it is a gradual process.
Here are some signs to help you recognize a hearing loss:
- Struggling to hear on the telephone
- Difficulty following a conversation in a group
- Turning up the volume on the TV
- Struggling to hear in a noisy background
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves
- Assuming people are mumbling all the time
- Responding to something incorrectly
- Difficulty hearing women’s and children’s voices
- Family and friends find communicating frustrating
Why Do Some People Deny They Have Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss is a very gradual process so it’s common for people not to recognize hearing loss immediately. In 1969, Elizabeth Ross Kubler wrote a book titled ‘Death and Dying’. The hypothesis relates to what a person experiences when faced with impending death or other extreme fate and that there are 5 stages of grieving. Over the years it has become theorized that these responses can be linked to any type of personal loss including hearing loss.
Hear are the five stages related to hearing loss:
- Denial (my hearing is fine)
- Anger (it’s everyone else’s fault, everyone mumbles)
- Bargaining (I’ll go if it gets worse)
- Depression (I’m 96 years old, why bother?)
- Acceptance (now we can do something!)
Untreated Hearing Loss
On average people wait 7 years before addressing their hearing loss. Unfortunately, some people wait longer and there are consequences to that. For a person that is still employed in the work force it can affect communication with their customers or colleagues, especially if the person is trying to hide their hearing loss.
Some colleagues might think that the person suffer from hearing loss is not listening which will negatively affect their perception of their colleague. The employee may even become known as lazy or uninterested in their work resulting in them missing our on rewards or promotion.
For a retired person, leaving a hearing loss untreated will not only affect their quality of life but will also affect their ability to process information. The brain starts to get lazy and recent studies show that if a person is at risk for Alzheimer’s or Dementia symptoms may appear sooner.