Bananas taste a lot different then they used to. There are very different types of bananas being cultivated these days by banana farmers. 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 detected the great banana swap? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. The change was so gradual 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 develops slowly, frequently so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.
That’s regrettable because early intervention can help maintain your hearing. If you know that your hearing is in danger, for instance, you may take more safeguards to protect it. That’s why it might be significant to watch for these seven signs your hearing might be waning.
You should have your hearing tested if you notice any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss isn’t always thoroughly grasped as it develops slowly over time. It isn’t like you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself totally incapable of hearing. Repeated exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually results in recognizable hearing loss. The sooner you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You don’t want to put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been connected to issues like social isolation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven signs that you may be developing hearing loss. A hearing test is the only way to be sure, but perhaps these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You’re continually cranking up the volume
Are you constantly cranking up the volume on your devices? Maybe they’re mixing the sound on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have started to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not likely) that you’re hearing is gradually going, and that you’re increasing 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 will frequently detect your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be a sign that you’re having hearing issues if you are constantly missing everyday sounds. Some of the most ordinary noises you might miss include:
- Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): You thought your friend just walked into your house but you in fact missed his knocks.
- Alarms and timers: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since nobody makes calls nowadays.
If your family and friends have pointed out that they’re kind of scared of driving with you because you miss so many common sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing exam.
Sign #3: You’re constantly asking people to repeat what they said
Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re always needing people to repeat what they said, it’s very, very possible it’s not because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). If people do repeat what they said and you still fail to hear them this is particularly relevant. Probably, time to schedule a hearing exam.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
You could also call this sign #3-A, because they go rather well together. You should know that people probably aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it seem that way. That might be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling things about you). Instead, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be particularly noticeable if you’re attempting to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you need to have a conversation in a loud space, like a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to take a hearing exam (or get hearing aids)
You most likely have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. If your family members (particularly younger) are telling you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a good idea to listen to them (no pun intended).
It’s easy to understand that you would want to rationalize away this advice. Perhaps you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But heeding their advice could protect the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition known as tinnitus. It’s not at all uncommon. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of damage. So you’re more likely to develop tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Tinnitus is more noticeable when you have hearing loss: In your ordinary 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 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 tired after social engagement
Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have grown totally draining. Or perhaps, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it once was.
Your hearing could be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. Your brain is attempting to fill in the holes that you can’t hear. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So when you’re in particularly challenging situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more exhaustion.
The first step is calling us for an appointment
The truth is that we all encounter 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 if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s a sign that the banana is changing. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get tested! You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.