It’s frequently said that hearing loss is a gradual process. It can be quite subtle for this exact reason. Your hearing doesn’t deteriorate in big leaps but rather in little steps. And that can make the gradual decline in your hearing challenging to keep track of, particularly if you aren’t looking for it. That’s why recognizing the first signs of age-related hearing loss can be a big help for your ear-defense.
An entire variety of related problems, such as anxiety, depression, and even dementia, can result from neglected hearing loss, so although it’s hard to detect, it’s crucial to get hearing loss treated as early as possible. Prompt treatment can also help you preserve your present hearing levels. The best way to ensure treatment is to detect the early warning signs as they are present.
It can be challenging to detect early signs of hearing loss
Early hearing loss has subtle symptoms. It’s not like you get up one morning and, very suddenly, you can’t hear anything lower than 65 decibels. Instead, the early signs of hearing loss camouflage themselves in your everyday activities.
The human body and brain, you see, are incredibly adaptable. Your brain will start to compensate when your hearing begins to go and can use other clues to determine what people are saying. Perhaps you unconsciously start to tilt your head to the right when your hearing begins to go on the left side.
But your ears and brain can only compensate so much.
First signs of age-related hearing loss
There are some common signs to look out for if you think that you or a family member might be experiencing the onset of age related hearing loss:
- A tough time hearing in busy spaces: Distinguishing individual voices in a crowded space is one thing that the brain is very good at. But as your hearing gets worse, your brain has less information to work with. It can quickly become overwhelming to try to hear what’s happening in a crowded space. Having a hearing test is the best choice if you find yourself avoiding more conversations because you’re having a tough time following along.
- You frequently find yourself needing people to repeat what they said: This might be surprising. In most situations, though, you will do this without recognizing that you are doing it at all. When you have a hard time hearing something, you may request some repetition. Some red flags should go up when this starts happening.
- You can’t tell the difference between “s” and “th” sounds anymore: These consonant sounds tend to vibrate on a wavelength that becomes progressively hard to discern as your hearing fades. The same is true of other consonants as well, but you should particularly keep your eye on those “s” and “th” sounds.
- Elevated volume on devices: This is probably the single most well-known sign of hearing loss. It’s common and frequently quoted. But it’s also very noticeable and trackable. You can be sure that your hearing is starting to go if you’re always turning the volume up.
Look out for these subtle signs of hearing loss, too
There are a few signs of hearing loss that don’t appear to have very much to do with your hearing. These are subtle signs, undoubtedly, but they can be a major indicator that your ears are struggling.
- Difficulty focusing: It could be difficult to achieve necessary levels of concentration to accomplish your day-to-day activities if your brain has to devote more energy to hearing. As a result, you may experience some difficulty focusing.
- Frequent headaches: Your ears will still be struggling to hear even as your hearing is going. They’re working hard. And straining like this over sustained periods can cause chronic headaches.
- Restless nights: Insomnia is, ironically, an indicator of hearing loss. It seems like it would be easier to sleep when it’s quiet, but you go into a chronic state of restless alertness when you’re constantly straining to hear.
It’s a smart idea to give us a call for a hearing assessment if you’re noticing 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 slow-moving process. But you can stay ahead of it with the right knowledge.