Hearing loss is widely recognized to be a process that develops gradually. It can be quite insidious for this very reason. Your hearing doesn’t get worse in big leaps but rather in tiny steps. So if you’re not paying close attention, it can be difficult to measure the decline in your hearing. That’s why identifying the first signs of age-related hearing loss can be a big boost for your ear-defense.
An entire variety of related problems, like anxiety, depression, and even dementia, can result from untreated hearing loss, so even though it’s hard to notice, it’s crucial to get hearing loss treated as early as possible. You will also prevent further deterioration with timely treatment. Detecting the early warning signs is the best way to guarantee treatment.
Early signs of hearing loss can be difficult to identify
The first indications of hearing loss tend to be subtle. You don’t, all of a sudden, lose a major portion of your hearing. The symptoms, instead, become incorporated into your day-to-day lives.
The human body and brain, you see, are amazingly adaptable. When your hearing starts to go, your brain can begin to compensate, helping you follow conversations or figure out who said what. Likewise, if your left ear begins to fade, perhaps your right ear starts to compensate and you unconsciously start tilting your head just a bit.
But there’s only so much compensation that your brain can accomplish.
Age related hearing loss – initial signs
There are some well known signs to look out for if you think that you or a family member may be going through the onset of age associated hearing loss:
- Consonant sounds like “s” and “th” are difficult to differentiate.: There’s something about the wavelength that these sounds vibrate on that can make them especially difficult to hear when your ears aren’t at their peak. You should pay particular attention to the “s” and “th” sounds, but other consonant sounds can also become mixed up.
- Boosted volume on the TV, radio, or mobile phone: This is perhaps the single most well-known sign of hearing loss. It’s classically recognized and mentioned. But it’s also extremely noticeable and trackable. You can be sure that your hearing is starting to go if you’re constantly turning the volume up.
- You’re asking people to repeat what they said often: This one shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. But, typically, you won’t realize you’re doing it. Naturally, if you have a hard time hearing something, you will ask people to repeat what they said. Some red flags should go up when this begins to happen.
- A hard time hearing in crowded spaces: One thing your brain is exceptionally good at is distinguishing individual voices in a crowded room. But as your hearing worsens, your brain has less information to work with. It can quickly become overwhelming to try to hear what’s going on in a crowded space. Having a hearing exam is the best choice if you find yourself steering clear of more conversations because you’re having a difficult time following along.
Look out for these subtle signs of hearing loss, as well
Some subtle signs of hearing loss seem like they don’t have anything at all to do with your hearing. These signs can be powerful indicators that your ears are struggling even though they’re subtle.
- Trouble concentrating: If your brain is having to devote more resources to hearing, you may have less concentration energy available to get through your everyday routines. As a result, you may experience some trouble focusing.
- Restless nights: Insomnia is, ironically, a sign of hearing loss. You may think the quiet makes it easier to fall asleep, but the strain puts your brain into a chronic state of alertness.
- Frequent headaches: When your hearing starts to decrease, your ears are still struggling to hear sounds. They’re doing hard work. And that sustained strain also strains your brain and can lead to chronic headaches.
It’s a good plan to get in touch with us for a hearing exam if you’re experiencing any of these age related signs of hearing loss. Then we can help you safeguard your hearing with the best treatment plan.
Hearing loss is a slowly advancing process. But you can stay ahead of it with the correct knowledge.