Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. There are rather different varieties of bananas being cultivated these days by banana farmers. These new bananas develop faster, are more robust, and can prosper in a wider variety of climates. And they taste quite different. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana swap? Well, the change wasn’t a quick one. The change was so slow you never noticed.
The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear a thing. For most people, hearing loss advances slowly, frequently so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s taking place.
That’s regrettable because early treatment can help preserve your hearing. You can take steps to protect your hearing if you recognize that it’s in danger. That’s why it might be significant to watch for these seven signs your hearing might be waning.
You should get your hearing evaluated if you experience any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss isn’t always well understood as it develops gradually over time. It’s not as if you’ll go to a noisy 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. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. You don’t want to put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been connected to problems such as social separation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven signs that you may be experiencing hearing loss. A hearing exam is the only way to be sure, but maybe these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Are you constantly cranking up the volume on your devices? Maybe they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have begun 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.
This is especially the case if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can often spot hearing problems in you sooner than you can.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
It could be a sign that you’re having hearing trouble if you are constantly missing day to day sounds. Some of the most common noises you might miss include:
- Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): You thought your friend just walked into your house but you in fact missed his knocks.
- Timers and alarms: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Are you missing text messages? Nobody makes phone calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
If your loved ones have mentioned that they’re a little afraid of driving with you because you’re missing 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 themselves
Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re always 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 particularly relevant if people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear what they say. Definitely, time to schedule a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everyone’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, because they go pretty well together. If it sounds like everyone around you is continuously mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they likely aren’t. That may be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). The reality is that you’re simply not hearing them due to 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: Family members prompt you to take a hearing test (or invest in hearing aids)
Your family and friends most likely know you pretty 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 good idea to listen to them (no pun intended).
We get that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this recommendation away. Perhaps you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But heeding their advice could preserve the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
Ringing in your ears is a condition known as tinnitus. It’s really common. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become severe for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can cause 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 suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more obvious: In your normal 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 noticing 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 need to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel exhausted after social engagement
Perhaps the reason why social interactions have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. 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 utterly depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) might be the cause. 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), particularly over the long run. So you may experience even more fatigue when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.
The first step is calling us for an appointment
The truth is that we all experience some hearing damage during our lives. Exactly how much (and how often you were using hearing protection) may have a big affect on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss in the first place.
So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Happily, you can take matters into your own hands and call us for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.