Hearing loss is well known to be a process that develops slowly. It can be rather insidious for this very reason. Your hearing gets worse not in huge leaps but by little steps. And that can make the gradual decline in your ears challenging to track, especially if you aren’t watching for it. Because of this, it’s worthwhile to be familiar with the early signs of hearing loss.
A whole variety of related issues, such as anxiety, depression, and even dementia, can result from untreated hearing loss, so although it’s difficult to notice, it’s crucial to get hearing loss treated as early as possible. Timely treatment can also help you safeguard your present hearing levels. The best way to ensure treatment is to notice the early warning signs as they are present.
It can be difficult to notice early signs of hearing loss
Early hearing loss has subtle symptoms. You don’t, suddenly, lose a major portion of your hearing. Instead, the early signs of hearing loss hide themselves in your everyday activities.
You see, the human body and brain, are amazingly adaptable. Your brain will start to compensate when your hearing starts to go and can make use of other clues to figure out what people are saying. Perhaps you unconsciously begin to tilt your head to the right when your hearing starts to go on the left side.
But there’s only so much compensation that your brain can achieve.
First indications of age-related hearing loss
There are some well known signs to look out for if you think that you or a family member might be going through the onset of age related hearing loss:
- You can’t tell the difference between “s” and “th” sounds now: There’s something about the wavelength that these sounds vibrate on that can make them especially hard 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 confused.
- You’re asking people to repeat themselves often: This might be surprising. But, typically, you won’t recognize you’re doing it. When you have a challenging time hearing something, you might request some repetition. Some red flags should go up when this starts to happen.
- A tough time hearing in crowded spaces: One thing your brain is exceptionally good at is following individual voices in a crowded space. But as your hearing worsens, your brain has less information to work with. It can quickly become overwhelming to try to hear what’s happening in a crowded space. Getting a hearing test is the best option if you find yourself avoiding more conversations because you’re having a tough time following along.
- Elevated volume on devices: This sign of hearing loss is perhaps the most widely recognized. It’s classic and often cited. But it’s also easy to notice and easy to monitor (and easy to relate to). If you’re constantly turning up the volume, that’s a sign that you aren’t hearing as well as you used to.
Keep your eye out for these subtle signs of hearing loss, too
A few subtle signs of hearing loss seem like they have no connection to your hearing. These signs can be powerful indicators that your ears are struggling even though they’re discreet.
- Frequent headaches: When your hearing begins 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.
- Difficulty concentrating: It may be difficult to achieve necessary levels of concentration to get through your day-to-day activities if your brain has to invest more energy to hearing. As a result, you might experience some difficulty focusing.
- Restless nights: Insomnia is, ironically, an indicator of hearing loss. It seems as if it would be easier to fall asleep when it’s quiet, but you go into a chronic state of restless alertness when you’re constantly straining to hear.
It’s a good idea to give us a call for a hearing exam if you’re experiencing any of these age related signs of hearing loss. Then we can help you protect your hearing with the best treatment plan.
Hearing loss progresses gradually. But you can stay ahead of it with the correct knowledge.