Bananas don’t taste like they once did. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a very different type of banana then they did in the past. These new bananas develop faster, are more resilient, and can prosper in a wider variety of climates. And they taste quite different. So how did this swap occur without us detecting it? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual switch.
Hearing loss can happen in the same way. It isn’t like suddenly your hearing is entirely gone. For most individuals, hearing loss progresses gradually, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s taking place.
That’s unfortunate because early treatment can help maintain your hearing. If you are aware that your hearing is at risk, for example, you might take more precautions to protect it. That’s why it might be worthwhile to watch for these seven signs your hearing could be waning.
You should get your hearing tested if you exhibit any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it develops gradually over time. It’s not as if you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely unable to hear. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) builds up over time. The sooner you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk of issues like dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it’s not something you should mess about with.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven indications that you may be developing hearing loss. A hearing test 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 frequently reaching for the volume controls? Maybe they’re mixing the sound on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have started to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not likely) that you’re hearing is slowly going, and that you’re raising the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
If others keep telling you the volume is too high this is especially likely. They will frequently observe your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be a sign that you’re having hearing trouble if you are continuously missing day to day sounds. Here are some common sounds you may be missing:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: When your good friend unexpectedly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did in fact knock, you simply missed it.
- Timers and alarms: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since no one makes calls these days.
If your family and friends have stated that they’re a little scared of driving with you because you miss so many day to day sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be an indication that it’s time for a hearing exam.
Sign #3: You keep needing people to repeat what they said
Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re regularly asking people to repeat what they said, it’s very, very possible it’s not because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is especially relevant if people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Looks like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: It sounds like everybody’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go rather well together. 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 seem like this. That might be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling things about you). The truth is that you’re just not hearing them because of your loss of hearing.
If you’re attempting to talk to somebody in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be especially true.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to take a hearing test (or get hearing aids)
Your family and friends most likely know you pretty well. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. It’s a smart idea to pay attention to your family members (particularly the younger ones) if they are telling you something’s up with your hearing.
It’s understandable that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Perhaps you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But heeding 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 known as tinnitus. It isn’t at all unusual. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become extreme for a couple of reasons:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Damage causes both tinnitus and hearing loss. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Tinnitus is more obvious when you have hearing loss: 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 experiencing 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: You feel exhausted after social engagement
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have grown totally exhausting. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you once did.
When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling totally drained, your hearing (or lack thereof) could be the reason why. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain works really hard to fill in those holes. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. 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 level. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you safeguard your ears when you’re subjected to loud noise.
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 get diagnosed.