It’s commonly said that hearing loss is a gradual process. It can be rather subtle for this exact reason. Your hearing grows worse not in huge leaps but by little steps. So if you’re not paying close attention, it can be difficult to measure the decline in your hearing. Because of this, it’s important to be acquainted with the early signs of hearing loss.
Even though it’s difficult to spot, dealing with hearing loss early can help you avoid a wide variety of related conditions, including depression, anxiety, and even dementia. Prompt treatment can also help you maintain your present hearing levels. Observing the early warning signs is the best way to guarantee treatment.
It can be difficult to notice early signs of hearing loss
The first indications of hearing loss tend to be subtle. You don’t, all of a sudden, lose a large portion of your hearing. Instead, the early signs of hearing loss hide themselves in your everyday activities.
The human body and brain, you see, are incredibly adaptable. When your hearing begins to go, your brain can start to compensate, helping you follow conversations or determine who said what. Maybe you unconsciously start 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 common signs to watch for if you think that you or a loved one may be going through the beginning of age related hearing loss:
- You frequently find yourself asking people to repeat themselves: This one shouldn’t come as a huge shock. But, typically, you won’t recognize you’re doing it. Naturally, if you have difficulty hearing something, you will ask people to repeat what they said. Some red flags should go up when this starts happening.
- A hard time hearing in busy spaces: Picking individual voices in a crowded space is one of the things that the brain is very good at. But as your hearing worsens, your brain has less information to work with. Hearing in a crowded space can quickly become a chore. Having a hearing test is the best option if you find yourself steering clear of more conversations because you’re having a difficult time following along.
- You can’t differentiate between “s” and “th” sounds now: There’s something about the frequency that these sounds vibrate on that can make them particularly difficult to hear when your ears aren’t at their peak. The same is true of other consonants also, but you should particularly pay attention to those “s” and “th” sounds.
- Increased volume on devices: This is perhaps the single most well-known indication of hearing loss. It’s common and often quoted. But it’s also easy to notice and easy to monitor (and easy to relate to). You can be sure that your hearing is beginning to go if you’re always turning the volume up.
You should also watch 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 signs can be powerful indicators that your ears are struggling even though they’re subtle.
- Frequent headaches: When your hearing begins to decline, your ears are still struggling to hear sounds. They’re doing hard work. And that prolonged strain also strains your brain and can translate into chronic headaches.
- Restless nights: Insomnia is, ironically, a sign of hearing loss. It seems as if 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.
- Difficulty concentrating: It could be difficult to obtain necessary levels of concentration to accomplish your day-to-day tasks if your brain has to invest more energy to hearing. As a result, you may notice some difficulty focusing.
When you notice any of these signs of age-related hearing loss, it’s worth scheduling an appointment with us to figure out whether or not you’re experiencing the early stages of hearing impairment. Then we can help you safeguard your hearing with the right treatment plan.
Hearing loss is a slow-moving process. But you can stay ahead of it with the right knowledge.