Age Related Hearing Loss – the First Signs

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 rather insidious. Your hearing doesn’t worsen in giant leaps but rather in tiny steps. So if you’re not paying close attention, it can be hard to keep track of the decrease in your hearing. For this reason, it’s worthwhile to be acquainted with the early signs of hearing loss.

A whole variety of related problems, like anxiety, depression, and even dementia, can result from neglected hearing loss, so although it’s hard to notice, it’s important to get hearing loss treated as early as you can. You will also protect against further deterioration with timely treatment. The best way to ensure treatment is to notice the early warning signs as they are present.

Early signs of hearing loss can be difficult to identify

Early hearing loss has subtle symptoms. It’s not like you get up one day and, very suddenly, you can’t hear anything quieter than 65 decibels. Instead, the early signs of hearing loss camouflage themselves in your day-to-day activities.

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

But your ears and brain can only compensate so much.

Age related hearing loss – initial signs

There are some common signs to look out for if you think that you or a family member may be experiencing the onset of age associated 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 easy to notice and easy to track (and easy to relate to). You can be sure 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.: These consonant sounds tend to vibrate on a wavelength that becomes increasingly tough to discern as your hearing worsens. The same is true of other consonants as well, but you should particularly pay attention to those “s” and “th” sounds.
  • You regularly find yourself asking people to repeat what they said: This may be surprising. In most cases, though, you will do this without realizing that you are doing it at all. Naturally, if you have a hard time hearing something, you will ask people to repeat themselves. Some red flags should go up when this begins to happen.
  • A tough time hearing in crowded spaces: Picking out individual voices in a crowded space is one thing that the brain is extremely good at. But as your hearing gets worse, your brain has less information to work with. Hearing in a busy space can quickly become overwhelming. Getting a hearing test is the best choice if you find yourself steering clear of more conversations because you’re having a difficult time following along.

Keep your eye out for these subtle signs of hearing loss, too

Some subtle signs of hearing loss seem like they don’t have anything at all to do with your hearing. These are subtle signs, without a doubt, but they can be a leading indicator that your ears are struggling.

  • Chronic headaches: When your hearing begins to decrease, your ears are still struggling to hear sounds. They’re working hard. And straining like this over sustained periods can trigger chronic headaches.
  • Trouble concentrating: It may be difficult to obtain necessary levels of concentration to accomplish your daily activities if your brain has to invest more resources to hearing. As a result, you might notice 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.

It’s a good idea to get in touch with us for a hearing exam if you’re noticing any of these age related signs of hearing loss. Then we can help you safeguard your hearing with the best treatment plan.

Hearing loss is a slow-moving process. But you can stay ahead of it with the right knowledge.


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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