It’s often said that hearing loss is a gradual process. That’s part of what can make it rather pernicious. Your hearing gets worse not in giant leaps but by tiny steps. So if you’re not watching closely, it can be hard to keep track of the decrease in your hearing. That’s why recognizing the first signs of age-related hearing loss can be a big help for your ear-defense.
An entire assortment of related problems, like anxiety, depression, and even dementia, can result from untreated hearing loss, so although it’s difficult to detect, it’s important to get hearing loss treated as early as you can. You will also protect against additional deterioration with timely treatment. Noticing the early warning signs is the best way to guarantee treatment.
It can be challenging to notice early signs of hearing loss
Early hearing loss has elusive symptoms. It’s not like you get up one day and, very suddenly, you can’t hear anything quieter than 65 decibels. Instead, the early signs of hearing loss camouflage 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 starts to go and can make use of other clues to determine what people are saying. Perhaps 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.
First indications of age-related hearing loss
There are some well known signs to look out for if you think that you or a loved one may be experiencing the onset of age associated hearing loss:
- You’re asking people to repeat what they said frequently: This might be surprising. In most situations, though, you will do this without even recognizing that you are doing it at all. When you have a challenging time hearing something, you may request some repetition. Some red flags should go up when this starts to happen.
- Boosted volume on the TV, radio, or mobile phone: This indication of hearing loss is possibly the most widely recognized. It’s classically known and mentioned. But it’s also very noticeable and trackable. You can be certain that your hearing is starting to go if you’re constantly turning the volume up.
- 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 hard to hear when your ears aren’t at their peak. You should pay particular attention to the “s” and “th” sounds, but other consonant sounds can also become mixed up.
- Straining to hear in noisy environments: Picking individual voices in a crowd is one of the things that the brain is extremely good at. But your brain has increasingly less information to work with as your hearing gets worse. It can quickly become overwhelming to try to hear what’s going on in a busy space. Getting a hearing assessment is the best choice if you find yourself avoiding more conversations because you’re having a tough time following along.
Keep your eye out for these subtle signs of hearing loss, as well
There are some signs of hearing loss that don’t seem to have very much to do with your hearing. These are subtle signs, undoubtedly, but they can be a leading indicator that your ears are struggling.
- Restless nights: Ironically, another sign of hearing loss is insomnia. You might think the quiet makes it easier to fall asleep, but the strain puts your brain into a chronic state of alertness.
- Trouble concentrating: It may be hard to obtain necessary levels of concentration to get through your daily tasks if your brain has to devote more energy to hearing. You might find yourself with concentration issues as a result.
- Persistent headaches: Your ears will still be struggling to hear even as your hearing is going. They’re working hard. And that prolonged strain also strains your brain and can result in chronic headaches.
It’s a smart plan to get in touch with us for a hearing test if you’re experiencing any of these age related signs of hearing loss. Then we can help you protect your hearing with the best treatment plan.
Hearing loss progresses gradually. But you can stay ahead of it with the right knowledge.