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The nature of hearing loss

It is important to understand the effects that hearing loss can have.  Friends and family may be under the impression that the person with hearing loss has selective hearing. This is usually because some sounds come through clearly, but not others. The softer, high-pitched consonants

(e.g. “s” and “f”) become harder to hear than the stronger, lower, vowel sounds. And then gaps begin appearing in words and sentences.

At times these gaps might be easy to fi ll in, making it appear as though the person is hearing everything. But when things get noisy; when they cannot rely on lip reading; when the talker is standing far away or the topic of conversation changes rapidly, the gaps will become so wide as to be impossible to fill in.  Then you will start to hear them say, “Sorry, could you say that again?” – a request that can be frustrating to satisfy in the long run. Or you will see them quietly withdrawing. If this should happen at family gatherings, parties, restaurants, try to step in and get

them back into the conversation.  Better still, try to get them to step into a hearing clinic.

Only a hearing test can confirm a hearing loss. If you care about your

loved one, you should insist they have their hearing professionally tested.

You could reassure them by suggesting that you would like to accompany

them to their initial consultation.