Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a very different variety of banana then they did in the past. These new bananas grow faster, are more robust, and can thrive in a wider variety of climates. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana swap? Well, the reality is that it happened slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual change.
The same thing can occur with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like all of a sudden your hearing is completely gone. For the majority of individuals, hearing loss develops slowly, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.
That’s unfortunate because early treatment can help preserve your hearing. You can take steps to safeguard your hearing if you recognize 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 notice any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss isn’t always well understood as it happens slowly over time. It’s not like you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely unable to hear. Repetitive exposure to loud noise over a long period of time slowly produces recognizable hearing loss. The earlier you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You shouldn’t put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been linked to problems like social isolation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven signs that you might be developing hearing loss. A hearing exam is the only way to be sure, but maybe these warning signs will prompt you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Are you continually turning up the volume on your devices? Sure, maybe it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, or that the audio mixing on TV shows is drastically different than it used to be. But it’s also possible (if not probable) that you’re hearing is gradually 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 notice hearing problems in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re regularly missing some everyday sounds, that could be an indication of trouble with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you may be missing:
- Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): When your good friend suddenly 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: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? No one calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
If your loved ones have stated that they’re kind of scared of driving with you because you miss so many everyday sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck backing up), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing assessment.
Sign #3: You’re constantly needing people to repeat what they said
Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? It’s likely that it’s an issue with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat themselves when they’re talking with you. This is especially true if people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Probably, time to get a hearing test.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go pretty well together. You should realize that people probably aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it seem that way. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it may be a comfort to learn they’re actually not. The truth is that you’re simply not hearing them due to your hearing loss.
If you’re trying to talk to somebody in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be especially relevant.
Sign #5: Family members encourage you to get a hearing assessment (or invest in hearing aids)
Your friends and family probably know you quite well. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. It’s a good 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 advice. Perhaps you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But heeding their advice could preserve the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance problems
When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s not at all uncommon. When you’re dealing with 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 the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is more noticeable when you have hearing loss: In your typical 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.
It could be an indication that you’re experiencing problems with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance problems and vertigo. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel exhausted after social engagement
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social settings have become completely draining. Or perhaps, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it once was.
When you leave a restaurant or a social event feeling completely depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) might be the cause. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain works really hard to fill in those gaps. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So when you’re in especially strenuous situations (such as a noisy space), you might experience even more exhaustion.
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 exposed to loud noise.
So it might be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and call us for an appointment. The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to receive treatment.