Signs of hearing loss are often mistaken for other medical, social problems at all ages
Hearing loss in teenagers is on the rise, and recent reports about the increase in hearing problems among teenagers serve as a reminder that one can have trouble hearing at any age. Early hearing loss treatment is key to minimizing long-term impact for children, teens and seniors alike. However, hearing loss symptoms may vary greatly between different age groups, and it is helpful to know what to look for if you suspect a loved one has hearing loss.
Teenagers often seem to be in their own world, not paying attention to what’s happening at home or in school. But when teens are truly having trouble hearing you, it’s time to take action. Teens who have been exposed to loud music over a period of time may complain of ringing in the ears (also known as tinnitus) or of a sensation of fullness, as if their ears are plugged. Hearing loss can also be caused by ear infections or trauma, and it’s important to get to the bottom of the problem quickly if you suspect your teen has a hearing problem. For infants, children and teens, even minor hearing loss can make communication difficult, and can have long-lasting consequences. A child’s self-image may be negatively affected by hearing loss, their ability to learn may be compromised, and children with hearing loss may have trouble developing social skills.
Signs of hearing loss in older adults are often wrongly attributed to other age-related issues such as dementia. Forgetfulness may be a sign that your loved one has simply missed part of a conversation due to a hearing problem. If an older adult communicates well in one-to-one conversations, but has difficulty hearing in a group situation, hearing loss may be to blame. Finally, if an older person who was once engaged and socially active becomes withdrawn, irritable or inattentive, chances are strong that they are suffering from hearing loss and should be seen by a hearing specialist.
To learn more about signs of hearing loss and treatment, or to arrange for a free hearing test, call 907-644-6004 to schedule your free hearing test today. Donna R DeMarco, AAS, BC-HIS, Tinnitus Care Provider, Holding a Certificate from the International Hearing Society.