Illini Hearing - Champaign and Mahomet, IL

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 gradual process. That’s why it can be quite insidious. Your hearing grows worse not in huge leaps but by tiny steps. So if you’re not paying close attention, it can be challenging to measure the decrease in your hearing. Because of this, it’s important to be acquainted with the early signs of hearing loss.

An entire assortment of related issues, such as anxiety, depression, and even dementia, can result from untreated hearing loss, so although it’s difficult to notice, it’s important to get hearing loss treated as early as you can. Prompt treatment can also help you preserve your current hearing levels. Detecting the early warning signs is the best way to guarantee treatment.

Early signs of hearing loss can be difficult to spot

The first signs of hearing loss tend to be subtle. It isn’t like you wake up one day and, very suddenly, you can’t hear anything lower than 65 decibels. The symptoms, instead, become folded 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 starts to go and can use other clues to determine what people are saying. Maybe you unconsciously begin to tilt your head to the right when your hearing begins to go on the left side.

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

Age related hearing loss – first signs

If you’re worried that your hearing (or the hearing of a family member) may be waning because of age, there are some familiar signs you can keep an eye out for:

  • Increased volume on devices: This is perhaps the single most well-known sign of hearing loss. It’s classically recognized and cited. But it’s also very obvious and trackable. If you’re constantly turning up the volume, that’s a sign that you’re not hearing as well as you used to.
  • You can’t tell the difference between “s” and “th” sounds now: There’s something about the frequency that these sounds vibrate on that can make them particularly 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 confused.
  • Struggling to hear in noisy environments: Picking out individual voices in a crowded space is one thing that the brain is very good at. But as your hearing worsens, your brain has less information to work with. Hearing in a crowded space can quickly become a chore. 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 having your ears assessed.
  • You frequently find yourself asking people to repeat themselves: This might be surprising. In most instances, though, you will do this without recognizing that you are doing it at all. When you have a challenging time hearing something, you may request some repetition. When this starts happening more often, it should raise some red flags about your hearing.

Look 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 strong indicators that your ears are struggling even though they’re discreet.

  • Restless nights: Ironically, another sign of hearing loss is insomnia. 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 always straining to hear.
  • Chronic headaches: Your ears will still be struggling to hear even as your hearing is going. They’re doing hard work. And straining like this over extended periods can cause chronic headaches.
  • Trouble concentrating: It could be difficult to achieve necessary levels of concentration to accomplish your daily activities if your brain has to devote more resources to hearing. As a result, you may experience some trouble focusing.

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

Hearing loss is a slowly advancing process. With the correct 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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