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

Hearing loss is well known to be a process that develops gradually. That’s why it can be rather pernicious. Your hearing gets worse not in huge leaps but by little steps. So if you’re not watching closely, it can be hard to keep track of the decrease in your hearing. Because of this, it’s worthwhile to be familiar with the early signs of hearing loss.

Even though it’s difficult to spot, treating hearing loss early can help you prevent a wide range of associated disorders, including depression, anxiety, and even dementia. Timely treatment can also help you safeguard your present hearing levels. The best way to ensure treatment is to detect the early warning signs as they are present.

Early signs of hearing loss can be hard to identify

Early hearing loss has elusive symptoms. You don’t, suddenly, lose a major portion of your hearing. Instead, the initial signs of hearing loss camouflage themselves in your everyday activities.

You see, the human body and brain, are amazingly adaptable. When your hearing begins to fade, your brain can start to compensate, helping you follow conversations or determine who said what. Similarly, if your left ear begins to fade, maybe your right ear starts to compensate 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 – first signs

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 related hearing loss:

  • A tough time hearing in busy spaces: One of the things your brain is amazingly good at is distinguishing individual voices in a crowded space. But your brain has progressively less information to work with as your hearing worsens. Hearing in a crowded room can quickly become a chore. Having a hearing exam is the best choice if you find yourself avoiding more conversations because you’re having a hard time following along.
  • You can’t differentiate between “s” and “th” sounds now: There’s something about the wavelength that these sounds vibrate on that can make them especially 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.
  • Increased volume on devices: This is probably the single most recognized indication of hearing loss. It’s classically recognized and cited. But it’s also easy to notice and easy to monitor (and easy to relate to). If you’re continuously turning up the volume, that’s a sign that you aren’t hearing as well as you used to.
  • You regularly find yourself asking people to repeat what they said: This one shouldn’t come as a huge shock. But, typically, you won’t realize you’re doing it. 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.

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

There are a few signs of hearing loss that don’t appear to have very much to do with your hearing. These are subtle signs, without a doubt, but they can be a major indicator that your ears are struggling.

  • Restless nights: Ironically, another indication of hearing loss is insomnia. You probably think the quiet makes it easier to fall asleep, but straining to hear puts your brain into a chronic state of alertness.
  • Difficulty concentrating: It may be hard to obtain necessary levels of concentration to get through your daily activities if your brain has to devote more energy to hearing. You may find yourself with concentration problems as a consequence.
  • Persistent headaches: When your hearing starts to decrease, your ears are still struggling to hear sounds. They’re doing hard work. And straining like this over extended periods can trigger chronic headaches.

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 decline. Then, we can formulate treatment plans that can protect your hearing.

Hearing loss progresses gradually. With the right knowledge, you can stay ahead of it.

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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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