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Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions that senior citizens may experience as they age. According to NIH, one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss. Hearing aids are a common product that helps assist with hearing difficulties. With that said, many people are unaware that they may have hearing loss. Fortunately enough, there are ways on how to spot when your loved one needs hearing aids.

What causes loss of hearing?

People of all ages can experience hearing loss, but it is more common in older adults. There are many ways to develop loss of hearing, such as exposure to loud noises, infection, genetic issues, or injuries. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 90% of hearing loss is due to either destroyed hair or damaged auditory nerve cells.

If you experience hearing loss due to your age, it may be harder for you to recognize it alone. Family members or a significant other usually will be able to help identify any changes or deficits in their loved ones. Hearing loss will affect the people around you, and many signs show when one starts to have trouble hearing.

Signs of hearing loss

Unable to hear you

If your loved one is accusing you of whispering daily, they likely are experiencing hearing loss. Most people who experience this will claim you are slurring your words or muttering. Hearing loss makes it difficult to hear certain words, and they are unable to understand complete sentences because they usually hear more of a mumble.

Become less social

If you are out at a restaurant with a group and your loved one is not interacting like usual, it is likely because they cannot hear the conversation. People who experience hearing loss tend to have difficulty holding a conversation or struggle to hear when music is playing.


If your loved one seems tired after a long conversation, it is likely due to them straining their ears. When someone struggles to hear, they must put in a cognitive effort to remain present – which can make them exhausted.

Where to seek help for hearing loss

When your loved one starts experiencing hearing problems, your first step should be to seek professional help. There are many different medical experts that may assist you, such as your primary care physician, an audiologist, otolaryngologist, or a hearing aid specialist.

These specialists have different types of training and expertise, so visiting each one can help decide what your next step should be.

Audiologists are healthcare professionals who evaluate, diagnose, and treat people who experience hearing loss and balance disorders. Audiologists can identify the type of degree of hearing loss your loved one has and recommend treatment options.

When to seek professional help for hearing loss

If hearing loss goes untreated, the consequences can cast a wide net into other areas of your loved one’s life. The best time to seek help for hearing loss is before it happens. Prevention is key to maintaining good hearing.

As your loved one gets older, encourage them to visit an audiologist even if they have not expressed symptoms. This will allow them to build a relationship with a practice and get familiar with the process.

That said, we do not always have the luxury of early detection. So, as soon as you or your loved one begins showing any of the signs discussed earlier, it is time to seek help with a hearing loss expert. Even if you are unsure if hearing loss is the reason for some of their unexplained behavior, taking the time to know for sure, will only be positive for all involved.