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.

Hearing loss is well recognized to be a process that progresses gradually. It can be quite insidious for this very reason. Your hearing gets worse not in giant leaps but by little steps. So if you’re not paying close attention, it can be challenging to measure the decline in your hearing. For this reason, it’s important to be acquainted with the early signs of hearing loss.

A whole assortment of related problems, like anxiety, depression, and even dementia, can result from untreated hearing loss, so even though it’s hard to detect, it’s crucial to get hearing loss treated as early as possible. Timely treatment can also help you preserve your current hearing levels. Noticing the early warning signs is the best way to ensure treatment.

It can be hard to notice early signs of hearing loss

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

You see, the human body and brain, are incredibly 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. Perhaps you unconsciously start 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 achieve.

First signs of age-related hearing loss

If you’re worried that your hearing (or the hearing of a family member) may be failing as a result of age, there are some familiar signs you can watch out for:

  • Increased volume on the TV, radio, or mobile phone: This indication of hearing loss is possibly the most widely known. It’s classic and frequently cited. But it’s also very obvious and trackable. You can be sure that your hearing is beginning to go if you’re always turning the volume up.
  • You regularly find yourself asking people to repeat what they said: This may be surprising. In most instances, though, you will do this without realizing that you are doing it at all. When you have a challenging time hearing something, you may request some repetition. When this begins to happen more often, it should raise some red flags about your ears.
  • A hard time hearing in crowded spaces: 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. It can quickly become a chore to try to hear what’s going on in a busy room. If hearing these conversations is harder than it used to be (or you find yourself opting out of more conversations than you used to), it’s worth having your ears assessed.
  • 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 particularly 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 mixed up.

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

There are some 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.

  • Chronic headaches: Your ears will still be straining to hear even as your hearing is going. They’re doing hard work. And straining like this over extended periods can cause chronic headaches.
  • Restless nights: Insomnia is, ironically, an indicator of hearing loss. It seems as if it would be easier to sleep when it’s quiet, but you go into a chronic state of restless alertness when you’re constantly straining to hear.
  • Trouble concentrating: It may be hard to achieve necessary levels of concentration to get through your day-to-day tasks if your brain has to invest more resources to hearing. As a result, you might observe some difficulty focusing.

It’s a smart idea to get in touch with us for a hearing assessment if you’re noticing any of these age related signs of hearing loss. Then, we can develop treatment plans that can safeguard your hearing.

Hearing loss is a slowly advancing process. But you can stay ahead of it with the correct 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.