Bananas taste a lot different then they did in the past. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow a really different variety of banana then they did in the past. These new bananas grow faster, are more robust, and can prosper in a wider range of climates. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana exchange? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. You never noticed the gradual change.
The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear a thing. For the majority of people, hearing loss develops gradually, often so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s happening.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. If you know that your hearing is in danger, for example, you may take more safeguards to protect it. So it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.
You should have your hearing tested if you exhibit any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss isn’t always well understood as it happens slowly over time. It’s not as if you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself totally incapable of hearing. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to a greater danger of issues including dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it isn’t something you want to mess about with.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven indications that you might be developing hearing loss. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing assessment, but these signs may encourage you to schedule an appointment earlier than you normally would have.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself constantly reaching for the volume controls? Sure, maybe it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, or that the sound mixing on TV shows is drastically different than it used to be. But it’s more likely that you’re compensating for your increasing hearing loss by cranking the volume up on your devices.
This is particularly the case if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often detect your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re regularly missing some everyday sounds, that might be an indication of issues with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you might be missing:
- Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): When your good friend suddenly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did in fact knock, you simply missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you burn 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 failing to get text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since no one makes calls nowadays.
You’re missing crucial sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your friends and family are becoming scared to drive with you.
Sign #3: You’re continuously asking people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most commonly 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’re talking with you. This is particularly relevant if people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear what they’re saying. Looks like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
You could also call this sign #3-A, because they go pretty well together. If it sounds as if everyone around you is continuously 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 might be a comfort to learn they’re actually not. The reality is that you’re simply not hearing them due to your loss of hearing.
This can be particularly noticeable if you’re trying to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a loud space, like a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to get a hearing test (or get hearing aids)
Your family and friends probably know you quite well. And some of them probably 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’s up with your hearing.
It’s easy to understand that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Perhaps you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But heeding their advice could protect the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance issues
When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with 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’re dealing with hearing loss:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by damage. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more pronounced: In your normal day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you encounter. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
In either case, if you’re going through loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is going on in your ears. And that means (no shock here), yes, you need to 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 clearly as you once did.
When you leave a restaurant or a social event feeling utterly depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) could be the reason why. Your brain is attempting to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So you might experience even more fatigue when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
The truth is that we all experience some hearing damage in our lifetimes. Exactly how much (and how frequently you were using hearing protection) might have a big impact on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss at all.
So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and give us a call for an appointment. The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment.