Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are very different varieties of bananas being grown today by banana farmers. These new bananas grow faster, are more resilient, and can thrive in a wider variety of climates. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana exchange? Well, the change wasn’t a quick one. You never noticed the gradual switch.
Hearing loss can occur in a similar way. It isn’t like all of a sudden your hearing is completely gone. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it develops so slowly.
Early treatment can really help preserve 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. So it’s a good plan to keep an eye out for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.
You should get your hearing tested if you notice any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it happens slowly over time. It’s not like you’ll be completely unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock show. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. The sooner you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk of issues including dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it isn’t something you should mess around with.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven indications that you may be experiencing hearing loss. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing exam, but these indicators may encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself frequently reaching for the volume controls? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have begun to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not probable) that you’re hearing is slowly degrading, and that you’re increasing the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
This is particularly the case if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can often recognize hearing problems in you sooner than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re constantly missing some everyday sounds, that could be an indication of trouble with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you could be missing:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: You thought your friend just walked into your house but actually missed him knocking.
- Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get burned? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since nobody makes calls nowadays.
You’re missing essential sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your family and friends are becoming scared to drive with you.
Sign #3: You keep needing people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently used words? It’s likely that it’s an issue with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat what they said when they’re talking with you. If people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear them this is especially true. Definitely, time to get a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. If it sounds like everybody around you is constantly mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they probably aren’t. That might be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling things about you). The truth is that you’re simply not hearing them because of your hearing loss.
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: Loved ones keep recommending you have your hearing tested
Your family and friends probably know you quite well. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. If your members of your family (especially younger) are informing you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a good plan 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 you could give your hearing an advantage by taking their advice.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It isn’t at all unusual. There are a couple of reasons why you may experience more ringing in your ears when you’re dealing with hearing loss:
- Damage can trigger both: 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 obvious: In your typical day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you experience. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
It could be an indication that you’re dealing with issues with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance problems and vertigo. And that means (no shock here), yes, you should come see us for an exam.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted
Maybe the reason why social interactions have become so exhausting is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you once did.
When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling utterly drained, your hearing (or lack thereof) might be the reason why. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain tries overtime to fill in those holes. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So when you’re in particularly 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
Honestly, hearing damage is common to everybody to some degree. Just how much (and how often you were wearing hearing protection) may have a big impact on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss at all.
So it might be an indication that the banana is changing if you encounter any of these signs. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment.