How to Spot Signs of Hearing Problems in the Elderly
It is quite common for individuals of old age to experience some hearing problems. These problems may be due to an issue with their ear canal or the eardrum. There are also hearing issues that are not directly related to the ear.
In some cases, the brain is actually unable to process the information that the ear is sending because of problems with the nerves. There are a few signs that will let you know when it is time to take an elderly relative to the doctor. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to call a physician right away.
Trouble Hearing When People Talk to Them
Hearing loss is the first sign that the elderly are experiencing any hearing problems. In the initial stages, they may not notice since it isn’t too bad. It will only be when it gets worse that they will realize they have a problem. They avoid going to restaurants and other noisy areas.
If you notice your grandparent avoiding going to restaurants, get-togethers, and the like, it may be due to a hearing problem. They may avoid going to a place with too many people or too much noise.
Trouble Following Conversations
If you notice that an elderly person seems unable to follow what is going on in a conversation, it is time to take them to the doctor. They may also have a hard time following the plotline in a television show or movie. The elderly will also often repeat the same question or statement to the same person because they could not hear the response. This may be a sign that they have some level of hearing loss.
Difficulty Understanding What Is Said in Noisy Rooms
If an elder has difficulty understanding what is being said in places like a restaurant, you should have them see a doctor. They may also have a difficult time understanding what is going on around them, especially if they are sitting next to a noisy person.
Hard Time Telling Where Sounds Are Coming From
Your elderly loved one may be able to hear certain high-frequency noises like a dog whistle but will not hear lower frequency noises like a clock ticking. They may also not be able to tell where a sound is coming from.
Losing Balance or Tripping When Walking
A stiff ear can cause you to lose your balance while walking. This is especially true if they have already lost some hearing. It is best that you accompany an elderly to the doctor immediately once you notice this sign.
Hard Time Carrying on a Conversation
Hearing loss can make it difficult to maintain a conversation. This is because they may have to repeat themselves to get their point across. They also constantly ask people to repeat themselves. If you notice an elderly person constantly confused about what someone is saying to them, it may be due to hearing loss. This will only worsen as time goes on, so make sure to have them see a professional right away.
The need for hearing aids increases with age, especially in the elderly. It is crucial to try and catch any hearing problems early, as they can get worse over time. Not only will it be frustrating for them, but they may also have a hard time communicating with others.
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