Hearing loss is well known to be a process that progresses gradually. It can be rather subtle for this exact reason. Your hearing gets worse not in giant leaps but by little steps. So if you’re not watching closely, it can be challenging to measure the decline in your hearing. Because of this, it’s important to be familiar with the early signs of hearing loss.
Even though it’s hard to spot, dealing with hearing loss early can help you prevent a wide variety of associated disorders, including depression, anxiety, and even dementia. You will also prevent further deterioration with timely treatment. Observing the early warning signs is the best way to ensure treatment.
Initial signs of hearing loss can be difficult to spot
Early hearing loss has subtle symptoms. You don’t, all of a sudden, lose a major portion of your hearing. Instead, the initial signs of hearing loss camouflage themselves in your everyday activities.
The human body and brain, you see, are incredibly adaptable. Your brain will begin to compensate when your hearing starts to go and can use other clues to determine what people are saying. Perhaps you unconsciously begin to tilt your head to the right when your hearing begins to go on the left side.
But there’s only so much compensation that your brain can achieve.
Age related hearing loss – first signs
There are some common 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:
- 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 discern as your hearing worsens. You should pay particular attention to the “s” and “th” sounds, but other consonant sounds can also become mixed up.
- Increased volume on devices: This indication of hearing loss is possibly the most well known. It’s classic and frequently cited. But it’s also very obvious and trackable. If you’re frequently turning up the volume, that’s a sign that you’re not hearing as well as you used to.
- Struggling to hear in loud environments: One thing your brain is remarkably good at is distinguishing individual voices in a busy space. But your brain has increasingly less information to work with as your hearing gets worse. Hearing in a busy space can quickly become overwhelming. Getting a hearing test is the best option if you find yourself avoiding more conversations because you’re having a tough time following along.
- You’re asking people to repeat themselves often: This may be surprising. But, often, you won’t recognize you’re doing it. Naturally, if you have difficulty hearing something, you will ask people to repeat themselves. Some red flags should go up when this starts happening.
Keep your eye out for these subtle signs of hearing loss, too
Some 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.
- Difficulty concentrating: If your brain is having to devote more resources to hearing, you could have less concentration power available to accomplish your everyday routines. You may find yourself with concentration problems as a result.
- Restless nights: Insomnia is, ironically, an indicator of hearing loss. You probably think the quiet makes it easier to fall asleep, but the strain puts your brain into a chronic state of alertness.
- Persistent headaches: When your hearing starts to decrease, your ears are still straining 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 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 formulate treatment plans that can safeguard your hearing.
Hearing loss progresses gradually. But you can stay ahead of it with the right knowledge.