Bananas taste much different then they used to. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow a really different variety of banana then they did in the past. Today’s banana can develop successfully in a large number of climates, are more resilient, and can develop faster. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this swap happen without us noticing? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. The change was so slow you never noticed.
Hearing loss can happen in the same way. It’s not like you get up one day and can’t hear anything. For the majority of individuals, hearing loss progresses slowly, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.
That’s regrettable because early intervention can help preserve your hearing. If you know that your hearing is at risk, for example, you might take more precautions to protect it. That’s why it might be important to watch for these seven signs your hearing could be waning.
You should get your hearing evaluated if you exhibit any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss develops gradually and over time, but it isn’t always well grasped. It’s not like you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely incapable of hearing. Repeated exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually produces recognizable hearing loss. The earlier you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to an increased risk of issues including dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it’s not something you should mess about with.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven signs that you might be experiencing hearing loss. A hearing test is the only way to know, but perhaps these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You’re constantly cranking up the volume
Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Perhaps they’re mixing the sound on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have begun to mumble. But it’s more likely that you’re compensating for your increasing hearing loss by turning the volume up on your devices.
This is especially the case if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can often recognize hearing issues in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re continually missing some day to day sounds, that could be an indication of trouble with your ears. A few of the most common sounds you may miss include:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but you in fact missed his knocks.
- Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It may 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.
If your loved ones have pointed out 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 test.
Sign #3: You keep asking 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 themselves when they talk to you. If people do repeat what they said and you still can’t hear them this is particularly relevant. Probably, time to schedule a hearing exam.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. If it sounds as if everyone around you is continuously mumbling or saying something under their breath, the truth is… well, they likely aren’t. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it might be a relief to learn they’re actually not. Instead, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be especially noticeable if you’re trying to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you need to have a conversation in a loud space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to get a hearing exam (or get hearing aids)
You most likely have a rather close relationship with your friends and family. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. It’s a smart idea to pay attention to your family members (particularly the younger ones) if they are telling you something is going on with your hearing.
We understand 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 taking 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 called tinnitus. It’s extremely common. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Damage can trigger both: 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.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more noticeable: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your day-to-day life. But as those everyday noises fade to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes relatively louder and substantially more noticeable.
In either case, if you’re experiencing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is happening in your ears. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you should come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel fatigued 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) could be the reason why. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain tries really hard to fill in those holes. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So when you’re in particularly challenging situations (like a noisy space), you may experience even more exhaustion.
The first step is calling us for an appointment
Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some degree. 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 if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s a sign that the banana is changing. Happily, you can take matters into your own hands and give us a call for an appointment. The sooner your hearing loss is identified, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment.