It’s frequently said that hearing loss is a gradual process. It can be quite insidious for this very reason. Your hearing doesn’t get worse in giant 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. For this reason, it’s worthwhile to be acquainted with the early signs of hearing loss.
Even though it’s difficult to spot, treating hearing loss early can help you avoid a wide variety of associated conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and even dementia. Prompt treatment can also help you safeguard your present hearing levels. Detecting the early warning signs is the best way to guarantee treatment.
Early signs of hearing loss can be difficult to spot
The first signs of hearing loss are usually subtle. It isn’t like you wake up one morning 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.
You see, the human body and brain, are extremely adaptable. Your brain will begin to compensate when your hearing begins to go and can use 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.
First indications of age-related hearing loss
If you’re worried that your hearing (or the hearing of a loved one) may be waning as a result of age, there are some familiar signs you can keep an eye out for:
- 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 optimum level. You should pay especial attention to the “s” and “th” sounds, but other consonant sounds can also become confused.
- You regularly find yourself asking people to repeat themselves: This may be surprising. In most situations, though, you will do this without even realizing that you are doing it at all. Naturally, if you have difficulty hearing something, you will ask people to repeat what they said. When this starts happening more often, it should raise some red flags about your hearing.
- A tough time hearing in busy spaces: One of the things your brain is amazingly good at is picking out individual voices in a crowded room. But as your hearing worsens, your brain has less information to work with. Hearing in a busy room can quickly become overwhelming. If hearing these conversations is more difficult than it used to be (or you find yourself sitting out of more conversations than you previously did), it’s worth having your ears examined.
- Increased volume on the TV, radio, or cell phone: This sign of hearing loss is perhaps the most widely known. It’s common and often cited. But it’s also easy to see and easy to track (and easy to relate to). If you’re continuously turning up the volume, that’s a sign that you’re not hearing as well as you used to.
Look out for these subtle signs of hearing loss, as well
There are a few signs of hearing loss that don’t seem to have much to do with your hearing. These are subtle signs, undoubtedly, but they can be a major indicator that your ears are struggling.
- Restless nights: Insomnia is, ironically, a sign of hearing loss. It seems as if it would be easier to fall asleep when it’s quiet, but you go into a chronic state of restless alertness when you’re constantly straining to hear.
- Frequent headaches: When your hearing starts to decline, your ears are still struggling to hear sounds. They’re working hard. And straining like this over prolonged periods can cause chronic headaches.
- Difficulty concentrating: If your brain is having to devote more resources to hearing, you may have less concentration power available to get through your everyday routines. As a result, you might notice some trouble focusing.
It’s a smart idea to get in touch with us for a hearing assessment 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 correct knowledge.