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10 Signs Your Loved One May Be Suffering From Hearing Loss

Elderly male talking in megaphone to deaf old friend, health problems, close-up

Hearing loss can be difficult for someone to admit they are facing.  Whether it is through the inability to recognize it, or from just being stubborn enough to admit it’s there, hearing loss can go untreated for a long time.  Prevention and protection are key in helping to preserve your or your loved ones’ quality of life.

The following are 10 signs you can be on the lookout for when a loved one may be suffering from hearing loss.


  1. Do they say yes or no at the wrong time? Watch for this when asking your loved one rhetorical questions — don’t just assume they misunderstood you.
  2. Are they less active in noisy places than they once were? With a hearing loss, higher voices and higher-pitch sounds are harder to hear.  If they become more distant from the familiar restaurants and bars they normally go to, this could be a sign of discomfort in a loud area.
  3. Does the person switch which direction they lean in during conversation? One ear could be affected and they are ensuring they can hear the conversation by leaning in with their “good ear”.
  4. Do they laugh at the wrong time and/or inappropriately? This may seem like a silly suggestion, but it is a pretty good sign there is a hearing issue. People don’t often like to admit there is a hearing difficulty, so they mask it by pretending to understand what is being said and even offer positive responses, even when the moment doesn’t call for them.
  5. Another sign to look out for is their balance.  If they seem to be losing their balance more often, stumbling often, or simply having trouble walking, this could be another sign of ear trouble.
  6. Do they turn up the volume on the TV and music louder than they used to? This one may be obvious, but it’s typically one of the first signs there is a hearing issue.
  7. Are they becoming less engaged in social situations or even just family situations? It is a difficult thing to watch the people you love hold conversations and laugh together, yet not know exactly what they are saying.  When your loved one becomes more disconnected from family and social events and keeps to themselves, this could be a sign they can’t hear or understand what people are talking about.
  8. Do they blame outside noise or others, people, for a misunderstanding in the conversation or an out-of-place response? Rather than admit there’s a problem, those affected tend to want to act like there isn’t an issue.
  9. If your loved one is younger, you might want to keep a close watch on any poor schoolwork or reprimands in school. While increasing age is often associated with hearing loss, signs of hearing loss in children could come across as irregular speech and language development, apparent inattention, or poor schoolwork.
  10. Last but not least, the common flag of your loved one always saying, “what?”.  If you are constantly having to repeat yourself more than a few times, this could be another great opportunity to bring their hearing into question.Remember, admitting there is a hearing issue can be difficult to accept but know that once treated, it will make a world of difference in their lives.

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