Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow a really different type of banana then they used to. These new bananas develop faster, are more robust, and can thrive in a wider variety of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you detected the great banana swap? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. The change was so slow you never noticed.
The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It’s not like suddenly your hearing is entirely gone. For most individuals, hearing loss progresses slowly, often so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s taking place.
Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. You can take measures to safeguard your hearing if you’re aware that it’s at risk. So it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for these seven signs of waning hearing.
You should get your hearing tested if you exhibit any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss occurs slowly and over time, but it isn’t always well grasped. It’s not as if you’ll be completely unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock concert. Repetitive exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually produces noticeable hearing loss. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to an increased danger of problems like dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it isn’t something you want to mess about with.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven signs that you might 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 cranking up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Sure, possibly it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, or that the sound mixing on TV shows is dramatically different than it used to be. 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 will frequently observe your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re constantly missing some everyday sounds, that could be a sign of issues with your ears. A few of the most common noises you might miss include:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: When your best friend unexpectedly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you simply missed it.
- Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get overcooked? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Are you missing text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since no one makes calls these days.
You’re missing important sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your friends and family are becoming afraid to drive with you.
Sign #3: You’re always needing people to repeat what they said
Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re regularly needing people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it isn’t 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 can’t hear what they say. Most likely, time to get a hearing test.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. 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 feel that way. That might be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling things about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
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: Loved ones keep suggesting you get your hearing tested
You most likely have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. If your members of your family (especially younger) are informing you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a smart plan to listen to them (no pun intended).
It’s understandable that you would want to rationalize away this advice. Possibly 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 have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become extreme for a couple of reasons:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of damage. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more noticeable: In your normal day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you experience. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes relatively louder and substantially more noticeable.
In either case, if you’re noticing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be an indication that something is going on 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 the reason why social situations have become so exhausting is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you used to.
When you leave a restaurant or a social event feeling completely drained, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the cause. Your brain is attempting to fill in the holes that you can’t hear. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So you may experience even more exhaustion when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.
Begin by coming to see us
Honestly, hearing damage is common 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 subjected to loud noise.
So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s a sign that the banana is changing. Thankfully, 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.