Up close look at a thumb pressing the up button on the volume function of a tv remote.

It’s often said that hearing loss is a gradual process. It can be quite subtle for this exact reason. Your hearing gets worse not in big leaps but by little steps. So if you’re not paying close attention, it can be hard to measure the decline in your hearing. For this reason, it’s worthwhile to be acquainted with the early signs of hearing loss.

Even though it’s hard to detect, treating hearing loss early can help you avoid a wide variety of related conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and even dementia. You will also protect against additional degeneration with timely treatment. Detecting the early warning signs is the best way to guarantee treatment.

Early signs of hearing loss can be hard to identify

Early hearing loss has elusive symptoms. It isn’t like you get up one morning and, very suddenly, you can’t hear anything lower than 65 decibels. The symptoms, instead, become incorporated into your day-to-day lives.

The human body and brain, you see, are incredibly 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. Likewise, if your left ear begins to fade, maybe your right ear starts to compensate and you unconsciously start tilting your head just a bit.

But your ears and brain can only compensate so much.

First signs of age-related hearing loss

If you’re worried that your hearing (or the hearing of a loved one) may be failing due to age, there are some common signs you can keep an eye out for:

  • You’re asking people to repeat what they said often: This one shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. In most cases, 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. Some red flags should go up when this starts to happen.
  • 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. It can quickly become a chore to try to hear what’s happening in a crowded space. Getting a hearing test is the best option if you find yourself avoiding more conversations because you’re having a tough time following along.
  • Increased volume on the TV, radio, or cell phone: This is probably the single most recognized sign of hearing loss. It’s common and frequently quoted. But it’s also easy to notice and easy to monitor (and easy to relate to). If you’re frequently turning up the volume, that’s a sign that you aren’t hearing as well as you used to.
  • You can’t tell the difference between “s” and “th” sounds now: These consonant sounds normally vibrate on a wavelength that becomes increasingly hard to differentiate as your hearing fades. You should pay especial attention to the “s” and “th” sounds, but other consonant sounds can also become confused.

Look out for these subtle signs of hearing loss, as well

A few subtle signs of hearing loss seem like they have no connection to your hearing. These signs can be powerful indicators that your ears are struggling even though they’re discreet.

  • Restless nights: Ironically, another indication of hearing loss is insomnia. 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.
  • 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 lead to chronic headaches.
  • Difficulty concentrating: It could be difficult to obtain necessary levels of concentration to get through your day-to-day tasks if your brain has to invest more resources to hearing. You may find yourself with concentration issues as a result.

When you observe any of these signs of age-related hearing loss, it’s worth scheduling an appointment with us to determine whether or not you’re dealing with the early stages of hearing impairment. Then, we can come up with treatment plans that can safeguard your hearing.

Hearing loss is a slowly advancing process. But you can stay ahead of it with the right knowledge.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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