It’s frequently said that hearing loss is a gradual process. That’s why it can be rather pernicious. Your hearing doesn’t deteriorate in big leaps but rather in tiny steps. And that can make the progressive decline in your ears difficult to track, especially if you aren’t looking for it. Because of this, it’s important to be acquainted 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 difficult to notice, it’s crucial to get hearing loss treated as early as you can. You will also protect against further deterioration with prompt treatment. Observing the early warning signs is the best way to ensure treatment.
It can be hard to notice early signs of hearing loss
The first signs of hearing loss are usually elusive. It’s not like you get up one morning and, very suddenly, you can’t hear anything quieter than 65 decibels. Instead, the early signs of hearing loss hide themselves in your day-to-day activities.
The human body and brain, you see, are amazingly adaptable. When your hearing begins to go, your brain can begin to compensate, helping you follow conversations or figure out who said what. Similarly, if your left ear starts to fade, maybe your right ear starts to pick up the slack and you unconsciously begin tilting your head just a bit.
But there’s only so much compensation that your brain can accomplish.
Age related hearing loss – initial signs
If you’re concerned that your hearing (or the hearing of a family member) may be waning due to age, there are some familiar signs you can keep an eye out for:
- Elevated volume on devices: This sign of hearing loss is possibly the most widely recognized. It’s classically recognized and cited. But it’s also extremely noticeable and trackable. You can be certain that your hearing is beginning to go if you’re constantly turning the volume up.
- Consonant sounds like “s” and “th” are difficult to distinguish.: There’s something about the wavelength 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 particular attention to the “s” and “th” sounds, but other consonant sounds can also become mixed up.
- Struggling to hear in noisy environments: Picking individual voices in a crowd is one thing that the brain is extremely good at. But as your hearing gets worse, your brain has less information to work with. It can quickly become overwhelming to try to hear what’s going on in a busy space. If hearing 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 getting your ears assessed.
- You regularly find yourself needing people to repeat what they said: This one shouldn’t come as much of a shock. But, typically, you won’t realize you’re doing it. Obviously, if you have difficulty hearing something, you will ask people to repeat themselves. Some red flags should go up when this starts to happen.
Keep your eye out for these subtle signs of hearing loss, too
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 subtle.
- Chronic headaches: When your hearing starts to decline, your ears are still struggling to hear sounds. They’re doing hard work. And that prolonged strain also strains your brain and can lead to chronic headaches.
- Restless nights: Insomnia is, ironically, an indicator of hearing loss. It seems like 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.
- Difficulty concentrating: It could be difficult to achieve necessary levels of concentration to accomplish your day-to-day activities if your brain has to devote more resources to hearing. You may find yourself with concentration problems as a result.
It’s a smart idea to give us a call for a hearing assessment if you’re noticing any of these age related signs of hearing loss. Then, we can come up with treatment plans that can safeguard your hearing.
Hearing loss develops gradually. But you can stay ahead of it with the right knowledge.