Bananas don’t taste like they once did. That’s because modern banana farmers grow an exceptionally different variety of banana then they used to. These new bananas develop faster, are more resilient, and can prosper in a wider variety of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this change happen without us noticing? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. You never noticed the gradual change.
Hearing loss can happen in a similar way. It isn’t like suddenly your hearing is completely gone. For most individuals, hearing loss progresses gradually, frequently so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s taking place.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s a regrettable truth. If you are aware that your hearing is at risk, for example, you might take more precautions to protect it. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these seven signs of waning hearing.
You should get your hearing tested if you exhibit any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it develops slowly over time. It isn’t like you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself totally incapable of hearing. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. The earlier you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You don’t want to put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been connected to issues such as social separation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven indications that you might be experiencing hearing loss. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing exam, but these indicators may encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You keep cranking up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself frequently reaching for the volume controls? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have begun to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not probable) 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 usually notice hearing problems in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re continually missing some day to day sounds, that could be a sign of issues with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you might be missing:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your best friend suddenly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did in fact knock, you simply missed it.
- Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get overcooked? It may not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? No one calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
If your loved ones have stated that they’re kind of 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 an indication that it’s time for a hearing test.
Sign #3: You’re constantly needing people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most commonly used words? If you’re regularly asking people to repeat what they said, it’s very, very possible it isn’t because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is especially true if people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear what they say. Seems like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: It sounds like everyone’s always mumbling
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 like this. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it might be a comfort to find out they’re actually not. The truth is that you’re just not hearing them because of your hearing loss.
This can be especially pronounced if you’re trying to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a loud space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members encourage you to get a hearing test (or invest in hearing aids)
You most likely have a rather close relationship with your friends and family. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. If your family members (particularly younger) are telling you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a smart plan to listen to them (no pun intended).
We get 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 maintain the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
When you’re experiencing ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s incredibly common. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become severe for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can trigger both: Damage triggers both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more pronounced: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your daily life. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
Either way, if you’re going through loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is happening in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted
Maybe the reason why social situations have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you once did.
Your hearing might be the reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain works overtime to fill in those gaps. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So when you’re in particularly challenging situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more exhaustion.
The first step is calling us for an appointment
The truth is that we all experience some hearing damage during our lives. Just how much (and how frequently you were using hearing protection) may have a huge impact on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss at all.
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 give us a call for an appointment. The sooner your hearing loss is identified, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment.