Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are rather different types of bananas being grown these days by banana farmers. These new bananas sprout faster, are more resilient, and can prosper in a wider variety of climates. And they taste quite different. So how did this change take place without us detecting it? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, through the years. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like all of a sudden your hearing is completely gone. For most people, hearing loss develops slowly, frequently so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.
Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. You can take measures to protect your hearing if you’re aware that it’s at risk. That’s why it may be important to watch for these seven signs your hearing might be waning.
You should get your hearing tested if you exhibit any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss happens slowly and over time, but it’s not always well grasped. It isn’t like you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself totally unable to hear. Repeated exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually leads to noticeable hearing loss. The earlier you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to a greater danger of issues like dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it’s not something you want to mess around with.
You should, uh, watch out 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 turning up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Sure, maybe it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, or that the sound mixing on TV shows is dramatically different than it was before. But it’s also possible (if not likely) that you’re hearing is gradually going, and that you’re increasing the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
This is especially the situation if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can often spot hearing trouble in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing problems if you are constantly missing day to day sounds. A few of the most ordinary noises you might miss include:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your good friend abruptly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did in fact knock, you just missed it.
- Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? No one calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
You’re missing essential sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your friends and family are becoming scared to drive with you.
Sign #3: You keep asking people to repeat what they said
Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? It’s likely that it’s a problem with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat what they said when they talk to you. If people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear them this is particularly relevant. Most likely, time to schedule a hearing exam.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everybody’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go rather well together. If it sounds as if everyone around you is continuously mumbling or saying something under their breath, the truth is… well, they likely aren’t. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it may be a comfort to learn they’re actually not. Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be particularly pronounced if you’re trying to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you need to have a conversation in a loud space, like a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep suggesting you have your hearing checked
You probably have a rather close relationship with your friends and family. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. If your members of your family (especially younger) are telling you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a good idea to listen to them (no pun intended).
It’s understandable that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Perhaps you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But heeding their advice could preserve the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s very common. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become extreme for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can trigger both: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of damage. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Tinnitus is more obvious when you have hearing loss: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed 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 an indication that something is happening in your ears. And that means (no shock here), yes, you need to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted
Maybe the reason why social situations have become so exhausting is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you once did.
Your hearing might be the reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. Your brain is trying to fill in the holes that you can’t hear. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So you might experience even more fatigue when you’re in an especially noisy setting.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some degree. If or when you develop hearing loss has a lot to do with how well you protect your ears when you’re exposed to loud noise.
So if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s a sign that the banana is changing. Luckily, 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.