Bananas don’t taste like they once did. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow a very different variety of banana then they used to. Today’s banana can develop easily in a wide variety of climates, are more resilient, and can sprout faster. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this swap take place without us noticing? Well, the reality is that it developed slowly, through the years. The change was so slow you never noticed.
Hearing loss can happen in the same way. It isn’t like you wake up one day and can’t hear a thing. For most individuals, hearing loss advances gradually, frequently so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s happening.
That’s unfortunate because early treatment can help preserve your hearing. You can take steps to protect your hearing if you recognize that it’s at risk. So it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for these seven signs of waning hearing.
You should have your hearing evaluated if you exhibit any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss isn’t always well understood as it happens slowly over time. It’s not like you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself totally incapable of hearing. Repeated exposure to loud sound over a long period of time gradually results in recognizable hearing loss. The earlier you treat your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You don’t want to put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been linked to issues like social isolation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven indications that you may be experiencing hearing loss. A hearing exam is the only way to be sure, but maybe these warning signs will prompt you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep cranking up the volume on your devices
Are you continually cranking up the volume on your devices? Maybe they’re mixing the sound on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have begun to mumble. But it’s more likely that you’re compensating for your increasing hearing loss by turning the volume up on your devices.
If others keep telling you the TV is too high this is especially likely. They will frequently observe your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be a sign that you’re having hearing problems if you are continuously missing everyday sounds. Here are some common sounds you could be missing:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: When your best friend suddenly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you just missed it.
- Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get burned? It may not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since nobody makes calls these days.
If your loved ones have mentioned that they’re kind of afraid of driving with you because you’re missing so many everyday sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck backing up), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing exam.
Sign #3: You keep asking people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most regularly used words? If you’re constantly asking people to repeat what they said, it’s very, very possible it’s not because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). If people do repeat what they said and you still can’t hear them this is especially true. Seems like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. If it sounds as if everybody around you is continuously mumbling or talking under their breath, the truth is… well, they likely aren’t. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it might be a relief to find out they’re actually not. Instead, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
If you’re attempting to talk to somebody in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be especially true.
Sign #5: Family members encourage you to take a hearing exam (or invest in hearing aids)
Your friends and family most likely know you quite well. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. If your members of your family (particularly younger) are informing you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a smart plan to listen to them (no pun intended).
We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this recommendation away. Maybe you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But taking their advice could preserve the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
Ringing in your ears is a condition known as tinnitus. It isn’t at all uncommon. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become severe for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can cause both: Damage causes both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to experience both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is more obvious when you have hearing loss: In your normal day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you encounter. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
In either case, if you’re going through loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is going on in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.
Sign #7: You feel tired after social interactions
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have grown totally draining. Or perhaps, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it once was.
When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling totally exhausted, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the cause. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain works really hard to fill in those gaps. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So when you’re in especially challenging situations (like a noisy space), you might experience even more exhaustion.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some level. If or when you develop hearing loss has a lot to do with how well you safeguard your ears when you’re subjected to loud noise.
So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Happily, you can take matters into your own hands and call us for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you get diagnosed.