Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a very different variety of banana then they used to. These new bananas grow faster, are more robust, and can prosper in a wider variety of climates. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana exchange? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. You never noticed the gradual switch.
The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like you get up one day and can’t hear a thing. For the majority of people, hearing loss develops gradually, frequently so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s taking place.
That’s regrettable because early treatment can help maintain your hearing. You can take steps to protect your hearing if you’re aware that it’s in danger. So it’s a good plan to be on the lookout for these seven signs of waning hearing.
You should get your hearing tested if you notice any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss happens gradually and over time, but it’s not always well understood. It’s not as if you’ll be totally unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock concert. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) builds up over time. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. You don’t want to put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been linked to problems like social separation, depression, and dementia.
These seven indicators are what you should be paying attention to out for. A hearing exam is the only way to know, but maybe these warning signs will prompt you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep cranking up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself frequently reaching for the volume controls? Sure, possibly it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, or that the audio mixing on TV shows is dramatically different than it used to be. But it’s also possible (if not probable) that you’re hearing is gradually degrading, and that you’re increasing the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
This is particularly the case if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often detect your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing issues if you are continuously missing everyday sounds. A few of the most common sounds you may miss include:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: When your good friend suddenly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you just missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get burned? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is too quiet.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? Nobody calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
If your family and friends have stated that they’re a little afraid of driving with you because you miss so many common sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing assessment.
Sign #3: You keep asking people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most commonly used words? It’s likely that it’s a problem with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat themselves when they’re talking with you. If people do repeat themselves and you still fail to hear them this is particularly true. Looks like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. You should recognize that people most likely aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it feel that way. 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. Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re just having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be especially pronounced if you’re attempting to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you need to have a conversation in a noisy space, like a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members encourage you to get a hearing exam (or invest in hearing aids)
Your family and friends most likely know you quite well. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. It’s a good plan to listen to your family members (especially the younger ones) if they are telling you something’s up with your hearing.
We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this advice away. Possibly you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But you could give your hearing an advantage by heeding their advice.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance problems
When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s really common. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of damage. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more noticeable: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your day-to-day life. But as those everyday noises fade to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and significantly more noticeable.
Either way, if you’re experiencing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be an indication that something is going on in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling exhausted
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have become totally exhausting. Or maybe, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it once was.
Your hearing might be the cause when 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 is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So you might experience even more fatigue when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.
Begin by coming to see us
Honestly, hearing damage is common 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 sound.
So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s a sign that the banana is changing. Happily, you can take matters into your own hands and contact us for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.