The First Signs of Age Related Hearing Loss

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 gradual process. It can be quite insidious for this very reason. Your hearing doesn’t deteriorate in big leaps but rather in tiny steps. So if you’re not paying close attention, it can be challenging to track the decline in your hearing. For this reason, it’s important to be familiar 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 important to get hearing loss treated as early as possible. You will also prevent further degeneration with timely treatment. The best way to ensure treatment is to notice the early warning signs as they are present.

Initial signs of hearing loss can be hard to spot

Early hearing loss has elusive symptoms. You don’t, suddenly, lose a major portion of your hearing. The symptoms, instead, become incorporated into your everyday lives.

You see, the human body and brain, are extremely adaptable. When your hearing begins to fade, 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 pick up the slack and you unconsciously begin tilting your head just a bit.

But your ears and brain can only compensate so much.

First signs of age-related hearing loss

There are some well known signs to watch for if you think that you or a family member may be experiencing the onset of age associated hearing loss:

  • You’re asking people to repeat themselves frequently: This might be surprising. But, typically, you won’t recognize you’re doing it. Naturally, if you have difficulty hearing something, you will ask people to repeat themselves. Some red flags should go up when this starts happening.
  • Struggling to hear in loud environments: One of the things your brain is remarkably good at is following individual voices in a busy room. But your brain has increasingly less information to work with as your hearing gets worse. It can quickly become a chore to try to hear what’s going on in a crowded space. Having a hearing examination is the best option if you find yourself avoiding more conversations because you’re having a tough time following along.
  • Consonant sounds like “s” and “th” are tough to distinguish.: These consonant sounds normally vibrate on a wavelength that becomes increasingly tough to differentiate as your hearing worsens. You should pay particular attention to the “s” and “th” sounds, but other consonant sounds can also become confused.
  • Increased volume on the TV, radio, or mobile phone: This sign of hearing loss is perhaps the most widely known. It’s classically recognized and mentioned. But it’s also extremely noticeable and trackable. If you’re frequently turning up the volume, that’s a sign that you’re not hearing as well as you used to.

Look out for these subtle signs of hearing loss, as well

There are a few signs of hearing loss that don’t seem to have very much to do with your hearing. These signs can be strong indicators that your ears are struggling even though they’re subtle.

  • Persistent headaches: When your hearing begins to decline, your ears are still struggling to hear sounds. They’re working hard. And straining like this over extended periods can trigger chronic headaches.
  • Restless nights: Ironically, another indication of hearing loss is insomnia. You probably think the quiet makes it easier to sleep, but the strain puts your brain into a chronic state of alertness.
  • Difficulty focusing: If your brain is having to devote more resources to hearing, you may have less concentration power available to accomplish your everyday routines. You might find yourself with concentration issues as a result.

When you detect any of these signs of age-related hearing loss, it’s important to schedule an appointment with us to determine whether or not you’re experiencing the early development of hearing impairment. Then, we can formulate treatment plans that can safeguard your hearing.

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


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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