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

It’s commonly said that hearing loss is a slow-moving process. It can be quite insidious for this exact reason. Your hearing doesn’t get worse in big leaps but rather in tiny steps. So if you’re not paying close attention, it can be challenging 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 identify, dealing with hearing loss early can help you avoid a wide range of associated disorders, including depression, anxiety, and even dementia. You will also protect against additional deterioration with prompt treatment. Noticing the early warning signs is the best way to guarantee treatment.

Initial signs of hearing loss can be difficult to identify

The first indications of hearing loss tend to be subtle. It isn’t like you wake up one day and, all of a sudden, you can’t hear anything quieter than 65 decibels. The symptoms, instead, become folded into your everyday lives.

The human body and brain, you see, are amazingly 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 pick up the slack and you unconsciously start tilting your head just a bit.

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

First signs of age-related hearing loss

There are some common signs to look out for if you think that you or a loved one may be experiencing the onset of age associated hearing loss:

  • Increased volume on devices: This sign of hearing loss is possibly the most well known. It’s classically recognized and cited. But it’s also easy to notice and easy to monitor (and easy to relate to). 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 hard to differentiate.: There’s something about the wavelength that these sounds vibrate on that can make them especially hard to hear when your ears aren’t at their peak. You should pay especial attention to the “s” and “th” sounds, but other consonant sounds can also become mixed up.
  • Struggling to hear in noisy settings: Distinguishing individual voices in a crowded space is one thing that the brain is very good at. But your brain has progressively less information to work with as your hearing worsens. It can quickly become a chore to try to hear what’s going on in a busy room. Having a hearing assessment is the best option if you find yourself avoiding more conversations because you’re having a tough time following along.
  • You frequently find yourself needing people to repeat what they said: This one shouldn’t come as much of a shock. But, typically, you won’t recognize you’re doing it. When you have a hard time hearing something, you might request some repetition. Some red flags should go up when this starts to happen.

You should also watch for these more subtle signs

Some subtle signs of hearing loss seem like they don’t have anything at all to do with your hearing. These are subtle signs, undoubtedly, but they can be a leading indicator that your ears are struggling.

  • Difficulty concentrating: It may be hard to achieve necessary levels of concentration to get through your day-to-day activities if your brain has to devote more resources to hearing. As a result, you may experience some difficulty focusing.
  • Restless nights: Ironically, another indication of hearing loss is insomnia. 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 always straining to hear.
  • Chronic headaches: Your ears will still be straining to hear even as your hearing is declining. They’re working hard. And that sustained strain also strains your brain and can translate into chronic headaches.

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 help you protect your hearing with the right treatment plan.

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

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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.