It’s often said that hearing loss is a gradual process. That’s why it can be rather pernicious. Your hearing doesn’t get worse in giant leaps but rather in little steps. So if you’re not paying close attention, it can be challenging to keep track of the decrease in your hearing. For this reason, it’s important to be acquainted with the early signs of hearing loss.
Even though it’s hard to detect, dealing with hearing loss early can help you avoid a wide variety of associated conditions, including depression, anxiety, and even dementia. You will also protect against further degeneration with timely treatment. Detecting the early warning signs is the best way to ensure treatment.
It can be hard to notice early signs of hearing loss
Early hearing loss has elusive symptoms. You don’t, all of a sudden, lose a major portion of your hearing. The symptoms, instead, become incorporated into your everyday lives.
You see, the human body and brain, are extremely adaptable. Your brain will start to compensate when your hearing begins to go and can use other clues to determine what people are saying. Maybe you unconsciously begin to tilt your head to the right when your hearing starts to go on the left side.
But your ears and brain can only compensate so much.
Age related hearing loss – initial signs
There are some well known signs to watch for if you think that you or a loved one may be experiencing the onset of age related hearing loss:
- Consonant sounds like “s” and “th” are difficult to distinguish.: There’s something about the frequency that these sounds vibrate on that can make them particularly hard to hear when your ears aren’t at their optimum level. You should pay especial attention to the “s” and “th” sounds, but other consonant sounds can also become mixed up.
- You’re asking people to repeat what they said frequently: This may be surprising. In most situations, though, you will do this without even realizing that you are doing it at all. Obviously, if you have difficulty hearing something, you will ask people to repeat themselves. When this starts happening more often, it should raise some red flags around your ears.
- Increased volume on the TV, radio, or mobile phone: This is perhaps the single most recognized sign of hearing loss. It’s common and often cited. But it’s also extremely obvious and trackable. If you’re continuously turning up the volume, that’s a sign that you’re not hearing as well as you used to.
- A hard time hearing in busy spaces: One of the things your brain is exceptionally good at is distinguishing individual voices in a crowded room. But your brain has progressively less information to work with as your hearing worsens. It can quickly become overwhelming to try to hear what’s going on in a busy space. Having a hearing assessment 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, too
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 discreet.
- Restless nights: Ironically, another indication of hearing loss is insomnia. You may think the quiet makes it easier to sleep, but the strain puts your brain into a chronic state of alertness.
- Persistent headaches: When your hearing begins to decrease, your ears are still struggling to hear sounds. They’re doing hard work. And straining like this over sustained periods can trigger chronic headaches.
- Trouble focusing: If your brain is having to devote more energy to hearing, you may have less concentration energy available to accomplish your everyday routines. You might find yourself with concentration problems as a consequence.
It’s a good plan 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 develops gradually. But you can stay ahead of it with the right knowledge.