It’s frequently said that hearing loss is a gradual process. It can be quite insidious for this very reason. Your hearing gets worse not in big leaps but by tiny steps. And that can make the gradual decline in your ears difficult to track, especially if you aren’t looking for it. That’s why recognizing the first signs of age-related hearing loss can be a big boost for your ear-defense.
An entire assortment of related problems, such as anxiety, depression, and even dementia, can result from untreated hearing loss, so although it’s difficult to notice, it’s important to get hearing loss treated as early as possible. You will also prevent additional deterioration with timely treatment. The best way to ensure treatment is to detect the early warning signs as they are present.
It can be difficult to detect early signs of hearing loss
The first signs of hearing loss tend to be elusive. You don’t, suddenly, lose a major portion of your hearing. The symptoms, instead, become incorporated into your day-to-day lives.
You see, the human body and brain, are amazingly adaptable. Your brain will begin to compensate when your hearing starts to go and can make use of other clues to figure out what people are saying. Maybe you unconsciously start 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 accomplish.
Age related hearing loss – first signs
There are some common signs to watch for if you think that you or a family member might be experiencing the beginning of age associated hearing loss:
- You regularly find yourself asking people to repeat what they said: This one shouldn’t come as a huge shock. In most instances, though, you will do this without realizing that you are doing it at all. Naturally, if you have difficulty hearing something, you will ask people to repeat themselves. Some red flags should go up when this begins to happen.
- Increased volume on the TV, radio, or mobile phone: This is perhaps the single most well-known indication of hearing loss. It’s classically recognized and cited. But it’s also extremely noticeable 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.
- A hard time hearing in busy spaces: One thing your brain is exceptionally good at is picking out individual voices in a busy space. But your brain has progressively less information to work with as your hearing worsens. Hearing in a crowded space can quickly become overwhelming. If following these conversations is harder than it used to be (or you find yourself sitting out of more conversations than you used to), it’s worth having your ears assessed.
- Consonant sounds like “s” and “th” are tough to distinguish.: These consonant sounds normally vibrate on a frequency that becomes increasingly tough to differentiate as your hearing fades. The same goes for other consonants also, but you should particularly keep your eye on those “s” and “th” sounds.
You should also be on the lookout for these more subtle signs
There are some signs of hearing loss that don’t seem to have very much to do with your hearing. These signs can be strong indicators that your ears are struggling even though they’re discreet.
- Restless nights: Ironically, another sign 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.
- Frequent headaches: Your ears will still be struggling to hear even as your hearing is declining. They’re doing hard work. And straining like this over prolonged periods can cause chronic headaches.
- Trouble focusing: If your brain is having to devote more resources to hearing, you could have less concentration power available to get through your daily routines. As a result, you may observe some difficulty focusing.
It’s a smart idea to get in touch with us for a hearing test if you’re noticing any of these age related signs of hearing loss. Then we can help you protect your hearing with the right treatment plan.
Hearing loss progresses gradually. With the right knowledge, you can stay ahead of it.