Hearing loss is well known to be a process that develops slowly. That’s part of what can make it quite pernicious. Your hearing doesn’t deteriorate in big leaps but rather in little steps. And that can make the gradual decline in your ears hard to track, especially if you aren’t looking for it. Because of this, it’s important to be familiar with the early signs of hearing loss.
A whole assortment of related issues, such as anxiety, depression, and even dementia, can result from neglected hearing loss, so although it’s hard to notice, it’s important to get hearing loss treated as early as you can. Timely treatment can also help you maintain your present hearing levels. Observing the early warning signs is the best way to ensure treatment.
Initial signs of hearing loss can be hard to spot
The first signs of hearing loss tend to be subtle. It isn’t like you wake up one day and, all of a sudden, you can’t hear anything lower than 65 decibels. Instead, the initial signs of hearing loss hide themselves in your day-to-day activities.
The human body and brain, you see, are amazingly adaptable. Your brain will begin to compensate when your hearing begins 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 your ears and brain can only compensate so much.
Age related hearing loss – first signs
There are some well known signs to watch for if you think that you or a family member might be going through the onset of age associated hearing loss:
- A difficult time hearing in crowded spaces: Picking individual voices in a crowded space is one thing that the brain is extremely good at. But your brain has progressively less information to work with as your hearing worsens. Hearing in a crowded space can quickly become a chore. Getting a hearing examination is the best choice if you find yourself steering clear of more conversations because you’re having a hard time following along.
- You’re asking people to repeat themselves frequently: This one shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. In most situations, though, you will do this without realizing that you are doing it at all. Obviously, if you have difficulty hearing something, you will ask people to repeat themselves. Some red flags should go up when this begins happening.
- Consonant sounds like “s” and “th” are tough to differentiate.: These consonant sounds normally vibrate on a wavelength that becomes increasingly tough to discern as your hearing worsens. You should pay particular attention to the “s” and “th” sounds, but other consonant sounds can also become confused.
- Increased volume on the TV, radio, or mobile phone: This is probably the single most recognized indication of hearing loss. It’s classically known and cited. But it’s also extremely obvious and trackable. If you’re continuously turning up the volume, that’s a sign that you aren’t hearing as well as you used to.
You should also watch for these more subtle signs
There are a few signs of hearing loss that don’t appear to have very much to do with your hearing. These are subtle signs, without a doubt, but they can be a major indicator that your ears are struggling.
- Frequent headaches: Your ears will still be straining to hear even as your hearing is going. They’re working hard. And straining like this over extended periods can trigger chronic headaches.
- Trouble concentrating: It could 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 may observe some trouble focusing.
- Restless nights: Insomnia is, ironically, a sign of hearing loss. You may think the quiet makes it easier to sleep, but the strain puts your brain into a chronic state of alertness.
It’s a good plan 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 safeguard your hearing with the right treatment plan.
Hearing loss is a slowly advancing process. With the right knowledge, you can stay ahead of it.