Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a really different variety of banana then they did in the past. These new bananas grow faster, are more resilient, and can prosper in a wider variety of climates. And they taste very different. So how did this swap happen without us detecting it? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, over time. You never noticed the gradual change.
Hearing loss can occur in a similar way. It isn’t like suddenly your hearing is totally gone. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it develops 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 significant to watch for these seven signs your hearing might be waning.
You should get your hearing evaluated if you notice any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss develops slowly and over time, but it’s not always well grasped. It’s not as if you’ll be totally incapable of hearing the day after you went to that big rock show. Recurring exposure to loud sound over a long period of time gradually results in noticeable hearing loss. The sooner you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You shouldn’t put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been connected to issues like social separation, depression, and dementia.
These seven signs are what you should be paying attention to out for. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing exam, but these signs might encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You’re continually cranking up the volume
Do you find yourself constantly reaching for the volume controls? Sure, possibly 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 likely) that you’re hearing is slowly going, and that you’re raising the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
If others keep telling you the volume is too loud this is particularly likely. They will frequently notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing issues if you are constantly missing everyday sounds. Here are a few common sounds you might be missing:
- Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): 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 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? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since nobody makes calls these days.
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 asking people to repeat what they said
Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re constantly asking people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it’s not because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is especially true if people do repeat what they said and you still can’t hear what they’re saying. Most likely, time to schedule a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go pretty well together. You should realize 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 may be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re just having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be particularly 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 noisy space, like 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 family and friends. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. It’s a good idea to listen to your family members (especially the younger ones) if they are telling you something’s up with your hearing.
We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this advice 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 known as tinnitus. It’s incredibly common. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Both can be caused by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be brought on by damage. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Tinnitus is more pronounced when you have hearing loss: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your daily life. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and substantially more noticeable.
It could be a sign that you’re experiencing issues with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance issues and vertigo. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.
Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social engagement
Maybe the reason why social situations have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or maybe, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it used to be.
When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling completely drained, your hearing (or lack thereof) might be the cause. Your brain is trying to fill in the holes that you can’t hear. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So when you’re in particularly strenuous situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more fatigue.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
Honestly, hearing damage is common 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 subjected to loud noise.
So it might be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Thankfully, 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.