Physical signs of hearing loss

If a person shows one or more of the following physical signs, it’s possible that they may be struggling to hear:

  • They ask you to repeat yourself when you’re not speaking particularly quietly
  • They think that you are mumbling or speaking to them quietly, when you aren’t
  • They move closer to you, whenever you speak to them
  • They turn the volume up higher than you need it to be, on the television or radio
  • They have difficulty understanding what you are saying when there is background noise
  • They have difficulty following a conversation in person or over the telephone
  • They miss telephone calls because they haven’t heard their phone’s ringtone
  • They mishear what you have said in a conversation and respond with an unrelated reply
  • They have difficulty hearing consonants
  • They have difficulty hearing female voices
  • They have difficulty hearing children
  • They have difficulty hearing sounds from birds or other animals that make a high-pitched noise
  • They twist their head around so that their ear is facing towards your mouth, during a conversation
  • They look at your lips when you’re speaking, to try to help them decipher what you are saying
  • They think that electronic devices have stopped working when they can no longer hear their associated sounds, like a doorbell, a microwave or the sound of a car being unlocked
  • They complain of having ringing in their ears on a regular basis

Emotional signs of hearing loss

What may be difficult to appreciate at first, is that someone who is losing their hearing may not even be aware of it, or they may even be choosing to ignore their symptoms

Whether they have come to terms with losing their hearing or not, they are likely to be feeling unhappy because of their difficulty hearing.  It can be exhausting trying to listen to people when you’re struggling to hear them or if they sound muffled, so being faced by a prolonged period of concentrating on conversations can be frustrating, stressful and deflating.

Here are some emotional signs that someone is struggling with their hearing, to be aware of:

  • They are tired or grumpy after having to concentrate on listening to something for a long period of time
  • They may be annoyed at not being able to hear
  • They may choose not to become involved in conversations when there are two or more people than them participating
  • They are exhausted after meetings or social events
  • They may start to avoid some social events
  • They may try to avoid meeting new people, in case they don’t understand what they are saying
  • They may not think that they have a hearing problem

What you can do to help someone with their hearing

If it looks as though your friend, relative or colleague is having trouble hearing, then there are several ways that you can help:

  • Firstly, be aware of how they may be feeling, by keeping a look out for the emotional signs of hearing loss, listed above. This will help you to see when someone needs a break, some peace or just some support.
  • Secondly, you can recommend that they see a specialist audiologist, who can help. Depending on the type of hearing loss experienced, this can be helped and even cured using specialist treatment and hearing devices.

Where to find advice about hearing loss

To speak to one of our expert audiologists, based at our clinics in Leicester and Market Harborough, call 0116 254 3909 or email us on [email protected]