Bananas taste a lot different then they used to. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a very different variety of banana then they used to. These new bananas develop faster, are more robust, and can prosper in a wider variety of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana exchange? Well, the reality is that it developed slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual change.
Hearing loss can occur in the same way. It’s not like all of a sudden your hearing is totally gone. For most people, hearing loss advances gradually, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s taking place.
That’s unfortunate because early intervention can help preserve your hearing. If you know that your hearing is at risk, for example, you might take more safeguards to protect it. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these seven signs of waning hearing.
You should have your hearing evaluated if you exhibit any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss isn’t always thoroughly grasped as it happens slowly over time. It’s not like you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself totally unable to hear. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) builds up over time. The earlier you treat your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You shouldn’t put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been linked to issues such as social separation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven indications that you might be experiencing hearing loss. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing test, but these signs might encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You’re constantly turning up the volume
Are you continually cranking up the volume on your devices? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have started to mumble. But it’s more likely that you’re compensating for your increasing hearing loss by cranking the volume up on your devices.
If others keep telling you the TV is too loud this is particularly likely. They can often notice hearing problems in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing trouble if you are continuously missing day to day sounds. Here are some common sounds you could be missing:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but actually missed him knocking.
- Alarms and timers: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is too quiet.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? Nobody calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
If your loved ones have pointed out that they’re kind of afraid of driving with you because you’re missing so many everyday sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck backing up), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing exam.
Sign #3: You keep needing people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently 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 what they said and you still don’t hear what they say. Most likely, time to schedule a hearing exam.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. If it sounds like everyone around you is constantly mumbling or saying something under their breath, the reality is… well, they probably aren’t. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it may be a comfort to find out they’re actually not. Instead, it’s more likely that you’re just having a difficult 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 encourage you to take a hearing test (or get hearing aids)
Your family and friends most likely know you quite well. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. If your members of your family (particularly younger) are informing you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a smart idea to listen to them (no pun intended).
It’s understandable that you would want to rationalize away this advice. Perhaps you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could do your hearing a favor by taking their advice.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance problems
Ringing in your ears is a condition known as tinnitus. It’s really 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 caused by damage. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to experience both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more pronounced: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you encounter. 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. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you need to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted
Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social settings have grown completely draining. Or maybe, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it used to be.
When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling utterly depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) might be the reason why. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain tries really hard to fill in those holes. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So you may experience even more exhaustion when you’re in an especially noisy setting.
The first step is calling 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 safeguard your ears when you’re exposed to loud sound.
So if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Happily, you can take matters into your own hands and give us a call for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.