Bananas taste much different then they used to. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow a really different type of banana then they did in the past. Today’s banana can develop easily in a large number of climates, are more resilient, and can grow faster. And they taste quite different. So how did this change occur without us detecting it? Well, the reality is that it developed slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual change.
The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like you get up one day and can’t hear a thing. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes unnoticed because it progresses so slowly.
Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. You can take steps to protect your hearing if you’re aware that it’s in danger. That’s why it may be important to watch for these seven indications your hearing might be waning.
You should have your hearing tested if you exhibit any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss takes place gradually and over time, but it isn’t always well understood. It isn’t as if you’ll be totally incapable of hearing the day after you went to that big rock concert. 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 protect it. You don’t want to put off on this because neglected 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 signs that you might be experiencing hearing loss. A hearing test is the only way to be sure, but maybe these warning signs will prompt you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You’re continuously cranking the volume up
Are you constantly cranking up the volume on your devices? Sure, possibly it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have begun to mumble, or that the audio mixing on TV shows is drastically different than it was before. But it’s more likely that you’re compensating for your increasing hearing loss by turning the volume up on your devices.
This is particularly the situation if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can often recognize hearing trouble in you sooner than you can.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re continuously missing some day to day sounds, that could be a sign of issues with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you may be missing:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but you in fact missed him knocking.
- Timers and alarms: 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 phone calls since no one makes calls nowadays.
If your loved ones have mentioned that they’re a little scared of driving with you because you’re missing so many common sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck backing up), that could be an indication that it’s time for a hearing exam.
Sign #3: You keep asking people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most regularly 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). If people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear them this is especially true. Looks like a hearing test is needed.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. You should recognize that people probably aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it feel that way. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it might be a comfort to find out they’re actually not. Instead, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
If you’re trying to talk to someone in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be particularly relevant.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to take a hearing exam (or invest in hearing aids)
You probably have a rather close relationship with your family and friends. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. If your family members (particularly younger) are telling you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a smart 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 feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But taking their advice could protect 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 isn’t at all unusual. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Damage can cause both: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by damage. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more obvious: 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 noticing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is going on in your ears. This means it’s time 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 situations have grown totally draining. Or perhaps, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it used to be.
Your hearing could be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. Your brain is attempting 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 you might experience even more fatigue when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
The truth is that we all experience 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 noise.
So it might be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get tested! The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to receive treatment.