At this time of the year, many people notice hearing loss for the first time

When a lot of time passes between visits from family members, health concerns that may have gone unnoticed in day to day life are suddenly more pronounced and obvious. Hearing loss is one of those  health problems that can come on so gradually, neither the person experiencing the loss or the people who see them every day even notice until the loss is severe.

Symptoms of hearing loss are frequently misinterpreted as signs of dementia. “An older person who seems confused, withdrawn or uninterested in participating in conversation during holiday get togethers may simply be having difficulty hearing and keeping up with the conversation. Just paying attention to how the person is interacting with others in the room or at the table can be very telling.” Dolores Madden from Hidden Hearing says that problems hearing the doorbell ringing as family and friends arrive, difficulty hearing people calling from another room, or frequently asking people to repeat themselves are often indicative of a hearing problem.

“Of course, when you get a lot of people in the same room, especially during the holidays, it’s going to get noisy, so take that into consideration,” said Madden. “But if you really notice a decline in someone’s ability to hear, be sure to address it with them. Hearing loss can be a very gradual process, and the person with the problem may not even be aware of the issue.” She recommends having a serious conversation, and to be prepared for the fact that the person may deny having a hearing problem, or may not be ready to talk.

“The important thing is to start the discussion,” said Madden “If they truly haven’t noticed their hearing loss, you’ve made them aware that they may have a problem. Try to follow up after a week or so to see if they’ve thought about making an appointment for a hearing evaluation. Offer to help them find a hearing professional. The earlier someone is diagnosed and treated for hearing loss, the better, for all concerned. Hidden Hearing offer FREE hearing evaluations and it is fast and simple to do.”

If you have any hearing loss issues contact Hidden Hearing online or Freephone 1800 370 000.