It’s frequently said that hearing loss is a slow-moving process. That’s why it can be quite insidious. Your hearing grows worse not in huge leaps but by tiny steps. And that can make the progressive decline in your ears difficult to track, especially if you aren’t watching for it. Because of this, it’s important to be familiar with the early signs of hearing loss.
Even though it’s difficult to spot, dealing with hearing loss early can help you prevent a wide range of related disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and even dementia. Timely treatment can also help you safeguard your present hearing levels. The best way to ensure treatment is to detect the early warning signs as they are present.
Initial signs of hearing loss can be difficult to identify
The first indications of hearing loss tend to be subtle. It isn’t like you get up one day and, very suddenly, you can’t hear anything lower than 65 decibels. Instead, the early signs of hearing loss hide themselves in your everyday activities.
You see, the human body and brain, 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. Similarly, if your left ear begins to fade, maybe your right ear starts to pick up the slack 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 – first signs
There are some well known signs to look out for if you think that you or a loved one might be experiencing the beginning of age associated hearing loss:
- You’re asking people to repeat what they said frequently: This one shouldn’t come as much of a shock. In most instances, though, you will do this without recognizing that you are doing it at all. When you have a difficult time hearing something, you might request some repetition. Some red flags should go up when this begins happening.
- Straining to hear in loud settings: 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. Hearing in a busy space can quickly become a chore. Having a hearing examination is the best option if you find yourself avoiding more conversations because you’re having a difficult time following along.
- Elevated volume on devices: This sign of hearing loss is possibly the most widely known. It’s classically recognized and mentioned. But it’s also very obvious and trackable. If you’re constantly turning up the volume, that’s a sign that you aren’t hearing as well as you used to.
- You can’t tell the difference between “s” and “th” sounds now: These consonant sounds normally vibrate on a wavelength that becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate as your hearing worsens. The same goes for other consonants as well, but you should especially keep your eye on those “s” and “th” sounds.
You should also be on the lookout for these more subtle signs
A few subtle signs of hearing loss seem like they don’t have anything at all to do with your hearing. These are subtle signs, undoubtedly, but they can be a major indicator that your ears are struggling.
- Persistent headaches: Your ears will still be struggling to hear even as your hearing is going. They’re doing hard work. And straining like this over extended periods can trigger chronic headaches.
- Restless nights: Ironically, another sign of hearing loss is insomnia. You probably think the quiet makes it easier to fall asleep, but the strain puts your brain into a chronic state of alertness.
- Difficulty focusing: It could be hard to obtain necessary levels of concentration to get through your daily tasks if your brain has to invest more resources to hearing. You may find yourself with concentration problems as a result.
It’s a smart idea to give us a call for a hearing test if you’re noticing any of these age related signs of hearing loss. Then, we can come up with treatment plans that can protect your hearing.
Hearing loss progresses gradually. But you can stay ahead of it with the correct knowledge.