Often, friends or family members notice hearing loss before it is clear to the individual experiencing hearing loss. Usually, hearing loss develops over time and won't be immediately or easily noticed by the person affected.
If you suspect a loved one has trouble hearing, ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to any of them, suggest that your friend or loved one see a hearing professional to be tested and to identify possible solutions
- Alerting signals — Do they fail to respond to the ring of the doorbell, car horn and smoke alarm?
- Telephone — Can you have an easy, casual conversation with them on the telephone?
- Say what? — Do they frequently ask you to repeat yourself?
- Background noise — At parties and other crowded settings, do they have trouble understanding what you and others say?
- High volume — Do they turn the volume of music or the television to a level louder than you would like?
- Ringing in the ears — Do they complain of a buzzing or ringing in their ears?
If you think someone you know has a hearing loss, encourage them to see their primary care provider or an audiologist and get their hearing checked. Frequently people agree to get their hearing checked because a friend or family member suggested it.
Better Hearing Institute. Signs of Hearing Loss. Accessed March 2008. Available at: