Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. That’s because modern banana farmers grow an exceptionally different type of banana then they did in the past. These new bananas develop faster, are more robust, and can thrive in a wider variety of climates. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana swap? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
Hearing loss can occur in a similar way. It’s not like you get up one day and can’t hear a thing. For most individuals, hearing loss progresses slowly, frequently so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.
That’s regrettable because early intervention can help preserve your hearing. You can take measures to protect your hearing if you recognize that it’s in danger. That’s why it may be significant to watch for these seven signs your hearing could be waning.
You should have your hearing evaluated if you exhibit any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss happens slowly and over time, but it’s not always well grasped. It isn’t as if you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself totally unable to hear. Repetitive exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually results in recognizable hearing loss. The earlier you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to a greater risk of issues including dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it’s not something you want to mess about with.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven signs that you may be experiencing hearing loss. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing test, but these signs may encourage you to schedule an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You keep cranking up the volume on your devices
Are you constantly cranking up the volume on your devices? Perhaps they’re mixing the sound on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have begun to mumble. But it’s more likely that you’re compensating for your increasing hearing loss by cranking the volume up on your devices.
This is especially the case if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often detect your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re frequently missing some everyday sounds, that could be a sign of issues with your ears. Some of the most ordinary sounds you might miss include:
- Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but you in fact missed him knocking.
- Timers and alarms: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Are you missing text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since no one makes calls nowadays.
If your family and friends have pointed out 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 an indication that it’s time for a hearing assessment.
Sign #3: You’re always needing people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most regularly 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 talk to you. If people do repeat themselves and you still fail to hear them this is particularly true. Definitely, time to get a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everyone’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go pretty well together. If it sounds like everybody around you is continuously mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they likely aren’t. That may be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling things about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be particularly noticeable if you’re attempting to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a loud space, like a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members encourage you to take a hearing test (or get hearing aids)
You probably have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. If your family members (particularly younger) are informing you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a good 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 heeding their advice could maintain the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance issues
Ringing in your ears is a condition known as tinnitus. It’s not at all uncommon. There are a couple of reasons why you may experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Damage can trigger both: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be brought on by damage. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to develop both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is more pronounced when you have hearing loss: In your typical day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you encounter. But as those everyday noises fade to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and considerably more noticeable.
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. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you should come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social engagement
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social settings have become completely exhausting. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you used to.
Your hearing could 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 fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So when you’re in particularly challenging situations (like 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 in our lifetimes. Just how much (and how often you were wearing hearing protection) may have a huge affect on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss at all.
So if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s a sign that the banana is changing. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to receive treatment.