Hearing loss has many causes…..it can be as simple as normal, gradual hearing loss that can occur as we age; it can be the result of excessive noise exposure at the workplace; it can be caused by an injury to the mechanisms of the ear; it can happen at birth.
Hearing loss is sometimes sudden, but quite often it is gradual, and one may not notice it at first. Being aware of the early signs, regardless of the cause, can help you to identify and address the problem more quickly.
Signs of Hearing Loss in Children
Knowing if your child has hearing loss can be difficult, especially in infancy. Early detection and intervention is the key with children, so that they can develop speech, language and social skills.
Babies are routinely screened screened within the first few weeks of their birth as part of their post-natal care. However, there are signs you can look out for which may suggest that you should have your baby undergo a comprehensive hearing test. Here are some of the signs to look for in your baby:
• Baby does not react to sudden loud noises.
• Baby does not seek the source of a sound.
• Seems to react to some sounds, but not others.
• Notices you when they see you, but not when you call their name.
• Baby stops babbling and experimenting with making sounds.
• Does not say single words by one year old.
School Aged Children
School-Aged Children will often exhibit the following signs when affected by hearing loss:
• Slow to learn speech and communications skills
• Does not follow or understand simple commands, or responds inappropriately to a question or request.
• Is easily frustrated or has communications breakdowns, often becoming exhausted from constant concentration just to understand speech.
• Often asks you to repeat yourself, or watches others’ responses, due to not having heard you.
• Doesn’t reply when you call them.
• Talks very loudly, and turns up the TV volume to high levels.
Signs of Hearing Loss in Adults
and the Elderly
Regardless of the cause of hearing loss in adults, and in elderly people, the signs of hearing loss are often downplayed and overlooked. Hearing loss can creep up so slowly that a person does not even realize it is happening. There may also be a reluctance to admit difficulty hearing, accompanied by denial, because, unfortunately, there is a stigma pertaining to hearing loss, especially in the elderly. Many times, friends or family are the first to observe the signs of hearing loss.
If you suspect that you might have hearing loss yourself, here are some of the more common warning signs that can help you to identify a loss in your own hearing:
• You have difficulty following conversations.
• You often ask others to repeat themselves.
• You have trouble hearing and understanding on the telephone.
• You find yourself turning up the TV volume, or others complain that the volume is too high.
• You frequently prefer closed captioning.
• You favor one ear over the other.
• You experience ringing in your ear.
• It is harder to hear women and children.
• You feel that people speak too fast or mumble.
• You often are embarrassed because due to misunderstanding what others say to you.
If you have an elderly family member or loved one who seems to be having difficulty hearing, they might be experiencing many of the signs above, but are not conveying this to anyone else. Here are some signs to look for:
• No response when someone calls their name.
• Constantly asking people to repeat themselves.
• Turns up the TV to very high volumes.
• Has trouble following conversations, especially in noisy environments.
• Nods their head or agrees with speakers, but clearly does not hear the words.
• Withdraws from conversations and social situations due to inability to follow what is being said.
• Frequently misunderstands what people say.
• Complains of other people mumbling.
• Speaks very loudly and slowly.
• Not hearing or reacting to common household sounds, such and ringing of the phone, or dripping water.
It can be difficult to realize that you, yourself, your child, or an elderly loved one may have hearing loss, but you can only benefit by having your hearing tested and diagnosed by a hearing professional as quickly as possible.
Contact us at HeaRite to schedule a hearing exam and consultation. With our help, and the help of today’s amazing technology in hearing devices, you can soon be on your way to vastly improved hearing and better enjoyment of the world of sounds that surrounds us all.