Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are rather different types of bananas being cultivated these days by banana farmers. These new bananas develop faster, are more resilient, and can prosper in a wider range of climates. And they taste very different. So how did this swap take place without us noticing? Well, the reality is that it happened slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual switch.
The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It’s not like all of a sudden your hearing is totally 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. If you are aware that your hearing is in danger, for instance, you might take more safeguards to protect it. That’s why it might be worthwhile to watch for these seven indications your hearing might be waning.
You should get your hearing tested if you exhibit any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it develops slowly over time. It’s not as if you’ll be completely unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock show. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. You shouldn’t put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been linked to issues such as social separation, depression, and dementia.
These seven signs are what you should be watching out for. A hearing exam is the only way to know, but perhaps these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep cranking 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 drastically different than it used to be. But it’s also possible (if not probable) that you’re hearing is slowly degrading, and that you’re increasing the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
If others keep telling you the TV is too high this is especially likely. They will frequently notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re continuously missing some day to day sounds, that might be an indication of issues with your ears. Some of the most ordinary noises you might miss include:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: When your best friend abruptly walks into your house, take into account 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 overcooked? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since no one makes calls nowadays.
If your family and friends have stated that they’re kind of scared of driving with you because you’re missing so many common sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck backing up), 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 frequently 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. This is particularly relevant if people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear what they’re saying. Seems like a hearing test is needed.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everybody’s always mumbling
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. You should realize that people most likely aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it seem like this. It’s stressful to always think 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 just having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be particularly noticeable if you’re trying to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a noisy space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to get a hearing exam (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 members of your family (especially younger) are informing you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a good idea to listen to them (no pun intended).
We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this advice away. Maybe you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could give your hearing an advantage by taking their advice.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
Ringing in your ears is a condition known as tinnitus. It’s incredibly common. There are a couple of reasons why you may experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Both can be caused by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by damage. 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 typical day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you experience. But as those everyday noises fade to the background (as a result of hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and significantly more noticeable.
It could be an indication that you’re dealing with issues with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance problems and vertigo. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel tired after social engagement
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have become completely draining. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you used to.
When you leave a restaurant or a social event feeling totally drained, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the cause. Your brain is attempting to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So when you’re in particularly strenuous situations (such as a noisy space), you might experience even more fatigue.
Start by coming to see us
Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some degree. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you safeguard your ears when you’re exposed to loud sound.
So if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s a sign that the banana is changing. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.