Bananas don’t taste like 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 develop faster, are more robust, and can prosper in a wider range of climates. And they taste quite different. So why haven’t you detected the great banana exchange? Well, the reality is that it developed slowly, through the years. The change was so slow you never noticed.
Hearing loss can happen in the same way. It’s not like suddenly your hearing is totally gone. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it progresses so slowly.
That’s unfortunate because early intervention can help preserve your hearing. You can take steps to safeguard your hearing if you’re aware that it’s in danger. That’s why it might be important to watch for these seven indications your hearing might be waning.
You should have your hearing tested if you exhibit any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss occurs gradually and over time, but it’s not always well grasped. It’s not like you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely incapable of hearing. Recurring exposure to loud sound over a long period of time gradually produces noticeable hearing loss. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to protect it. You shouldn’t put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been linked to issues like social isolation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven indications that you might be developing hearing loss. A hearing exam is the only way to be sure, but perhaps these warning signs will prompt you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
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 sound mixing on TV shows is dramatically different than it was before. But it’s more likely that you’re compensating for your increasing hearing loss by turning the volume up on your devices.
This is particularly the situation if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will frequently notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re regularly missing some day to day sounds, that could be a sign of issues with your ears. Some of the most ordinary noises you may miss include:
- Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): When your best friend abruptly 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 ringing? Did the dinner get overcooked? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Are you missing text messages? No one calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
You’re missing crucial sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your friends and family are becoming afraid to drive with you.
Sign #3: You keep asking 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 what they said when they’re talking with you. This is particularly relevant if people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear what they say. Seems like a hearing test is needed.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. If it sounds as if everyone around you is constantly mumbling or talking under their breath, the truth is… well, they likely aren’t. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it may be a relief to learn they’re actually not. The reality is that you’re just not hearing them due to your hearing loss.
If you’re trying to talk to someone in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be particularly true.
Sign #5: Family members encourage you to take a hearing test (or get hearing aids)
Your friends and family probably know you quite well. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. It’s a smart plan to listen to your family members (particularly the younger ones) if they are telling you something’s up with your hearing.
It’s easy to understand that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Possibly you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But taking their advice could protect the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
When you’re experiencing ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s not at all uncommon. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you’re dealing with hearing loss:
- Damage can cause both: Damage causes both tinnitus and hearing loss. So you’re more likely to develop tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more pronounced: In your ordinary 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 a sign 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 fatigued after social interactions
Maybe the reason why social interactions have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or perhaps, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it used to be.
Your hearing could be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain works overtime to fill in those gaps. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So when you’re in especially strenuous situations (like a noisy space), you might experience even more fatigue.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some degree. Just how much (and how frequently you were using hearing protection) may have a huge affect 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 experience any of these signs. Happily, 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.