Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are extremely different types of bananas being grown today by banana farmers. These new bananas sprout faster, are more robust, and can prosper in a wider range of climates. And they taste quite different. So how did this swap occur without us noticing? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
Hearing loss can occur in the same way. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear a thing. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it advances so slowly.
That’s regrettable because early treatment can help preserve your hearing. You can take steps to safeguard your hearing if you’re aware that it’s at risk. So it’s a good plan to be on the lookout for these seven signs of waning hearing.
You should get your hearing tested if you experience any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss occurs gradually and over time, but it isn’t always well grasped. It isn’t like you’ll be completely incapable of hearing the day after you went to that big rock show. Repeated exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually leads to noticeable hearing loss. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to protect it. You don’t want to put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been linked to problems such as social isolation, depression, and dementia.
These seven signs are what you should be paying attention to out for. A hearing exam is the only way to know, but perhaps these warning signs will prompt 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? Sure, possibly it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have begun to mumble, or that the sound mixing on TV shows is dramatically different than it was before. But it’s also possible (if not probable) that you’re hearing is slowly degrading, and that you’re raising the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
This is especially the case if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can often spot hearing issues in you sooner than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing problems if you are continuously missing day to day sounds. Here are a few common sounds you could be missing:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but actually missed his knocks.
- Alarms and timers: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is too quiet.
- Your phone: Are you missing text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since nobody makes calls these days.
You’re missing essential sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your family and friends are becoming scared to drive with you.
Sign #3: You’re constantly 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 what they said when they’re talking with you. This is especially true if people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear what they say. Looks like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go pretty well together. If it sounds as if everyone around you is constantly mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they probably aren’t. That might be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). The truth is that you’re simply not hearing them because of your loss of hearing.
If you’re attempting to talk to someone in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be especially relevant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep suggesting you have your hearing tested
Your family and friends probably know you pretty well. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. If your members of your family (especially younger) are informing 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. Perhaps you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But heeding their advice could preserve the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance problems
Ringing in your ears is a condition known as tinnitus. It isn’t at all unusual. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of 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: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your day-to-day life. But as those everyday noises recede 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 an indication that something is happening in your ears. And that means (no shock here), yes, you need 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 settings have become totally draining. Or perhaps, 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 completely depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) could be the reason why. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain works really hard to fill in those holes. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So when you’re in particularly strenuous situations (like a noisy space), you may experience even more exhaustion.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage during our lives. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you safeguard your ears when you’re subjected to loud sound.
So if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get tested! You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you get diagnosed.