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

It’s frequently said that hearing loss is a slow-moving process. That’s part of what can make it quite pernicious. Your hearing grows worse not in giant leaps but by tiny steps. And that can make the progressive decline in your ears hard to track, especially if you aren’t watching for it. That’s why identifying the first signs of age-related hearing loss can be a big boost for your ear-defense.

Even though it’s difficult to spot, dealing with hearing loss early can help you prevent a wide variety of related disorders, like depression, anxiety, and even dementia. You will also avoid further deterioration with timely treatment. The best way to ensure treatment is to notice the early warning signs as they are present.

It can be challenging to notice early signs of hearing loss

The first indications of hearing loss are usually elusive. You don’t, all of a sudden, lose a large portion of your hearing. The symptoms, instead, become incorporated into your everyday lives.

The human body and brain, you see, are amazingly adaptable. When your hearing starts to go, your brain can start to compensate, helping you follow conversations or figure out who said what. Likewise, if your left ear starts to fade, perhaps your right ear starts to compensate and you unconsciously start tilting your head just a bit.

But there’s only so much compensation that your brain can achieve.

Age related hearing loss – initial signs

There are some common signs to watch for if you think that you or a loved one may be going through the onset of age related hearing loss:

  • Increased volume on the TV, radio, or mobile phone: This sign of hearing loss is perhaps the most widely recognized. It’s classically known and mentioned. But it’s also extremely obvious and trackable. You can be sure that your hearing is starting to go if you’re constantly turning the volume up.
  • You can’t tell the difference between “s” and “th” sounds anymore: These consonant sounds normally vibrate on a wavelength that becomes progressively tough to differentiate as your hearing worsens. You should pay especial attention to the “s” and “th” sounds, but other consonant sounds can also become confused.
  • A hard time hearing in crowded spaces: One thing your brain is remarkably good at is distinguishing individual voices in a crowded space. But as your hearing worsens, your brain has less information to work with. It can quickly become overwhelming to try to hear what’s happening in a crowded space. Getting a hearing examination is the best option if you find yourself steering clear of more conversations because you’re having a difficult time following along.
  • You’re asking people to repeat themselves often: This one shouldn’t come as much of a shock. But, often, you won’t realize you’re doing it. When you have a challenging time hearing something, you may request some repetition. When this begins to happen more often, it should raise some red flags about your ears.

You should also be on the lookout for these more subtle signs

A few subtle signs of hearing loss seem like they have no connection to your hearing. These are subtle signs, no doubt, but they can be a major indicator that your ears are struggling.

  • Persistent headaches: Your ears will still be straining to hear even as your hearing is declining. They’re working hard. And straining like this over prolonged periods can trigger chronic headaches.
  • Restless nights: Insomnia is, ironically, an indicator of hearing loss. You might think the quiet makes it easier to fall asleep, but the strain puts your brain into a chronic state of alertness.
  • Difficulty concentrating: If your brain is having to devote more resources to hearing, you could have less concentration power available to get through your everyday routines. As a result, you might observe some difficulty focusing.

It’s a smart plan 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 help you protect your hearing with the right treatment plan.

Hearing loss develops gradually. But you can stay ahead of it with the correct knowledge.

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References

https://www.healthyhearing.com/report/46306-Hearing-loss-auditory-deprivation

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hearing-loss/symptoms-causes/syc-20373072

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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