Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. There are extremely different varieties of bananas being grown nowadays by banana farmers. Today’s banana can grow successfully in a wide variety of climates, are more resilient, and can develop faster. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you detected the great banana swap? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like all of a sudden your hearing is totally gone. For the majority of individuals, hearing loss advances gradually, frequently so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.
That’s unfortunate because early intervention can help maintain your hearing. If you are aware that your hearing is in danger, for instance, you might take more precautions to protect it. So it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for these seven signs of waning hearing.
You should have your hearing tested if you experience any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss happens slowly and over time, but it isn’t 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. Repeated exposure to loud sound over a long period of time gradually leads to recognizable hearing loss. The sooner you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to a greater danger of problems like dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it isn’t something you should mess about with.
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 assessment, but these indicators may encourage you to schedule an appointment earlier than you normally would have.
Sign #1: You’re constantly cranking the volume up
Are you constantly turning up the volume on your devices? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio 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.
If others keep telling you the TV is too loud this is particularly likely. They can usually notice hearing trouble in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
It could be a sign that you’re having hearing problems if you are constantly missing day to day sounds. Here are a few common sounds you may be missing:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: You thought your friend just walked into your house but actually missed his knocks.
- Alarms and timers: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? No one makes phone calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
If your family and friends have stated that they’re kind of afraid of driving with you because you’re missing so many day to day sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing test.
Sign #3: You keep needing people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most commonly 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. This is especially true if people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Seems like a hearing test is needed.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. You should know that people most likely aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it seem like this. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it may be a relief to find out they’re actually not. The reality is that you’re simply not hearing them due to your hearing loss.
This can be particularly pronounced if you’re attempting to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a loud space, like a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep suggesting you have your hearing checked
You probably have a rather close relationship with your family and friends. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. If your members of your family (especially younger) are telling you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a smart idea to listen to them (no pun intended).
It’s understandable that you would want to rationalize away this advice. Maybe you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But taking their advice could maintain 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 not at all uncommon. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Both can be caused by damage: Damage causes both tinnitus and loss of hearing. 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: 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.
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 exhausted
Maybe the reason why social situations have become so exhausting 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.
Your hearing may 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 extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So you may experience even more exhaustion when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.
The first step is calling 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) might have a huge affect on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss at all.
So if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s a sign that the banana is changing. Happily, you can take matters into your own hands and give us a call for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.