Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow an exceptionally different variety of banana then they used to. Today’s banana can grow easily in a large number of climates, are more resilient, and can grow faster. And they taste quite different. So how did this change happen without us noticing? Well, the truth is that it developed slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual switch.
Hearing loss can occur in the same way. It isn’t like suddenly your hearing is completely gone. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes unobserved because it develops so slowly.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. You can take measures to protect your hearing if you’re aware that it’s at risk. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these seven signs of waning hearing.
You should get your hearing tested if you experience any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss isn’t always well understood as it develops gradually over time. It isn’t like you’ll be completely unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock concert. Repetitive exposure to loud sound over a long period of time gradually leads to recognizable hearing loss. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to an increased risk of issues such as dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it’s not something you want to mess around with.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven indications that you might be experiencing hearing loss. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing exam, but these signs may encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you normally would have.
Sign #1: You’re continuously turning the volume up
Are you continually turning up the volume on your devices? Sure, possibly it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have begun to mumble, or that the audio 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 especially the situation if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will frequently observe 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. Here are a few common sounds you might be missing:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your best friend abruptly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did in fact knock, you simply missed it.
- Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is too quiet.
- Your phone: Are you missing text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since nobody 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 afraid to drive with you.
Sign #3: You keep needing people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently used words? If you’re regularly 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). This is especially true if people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear what they’re saying. Probably, time to get a hearing exam.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. You should realize 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 may be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). The reality is that you’re just not hearing them due to your hearing loss.
This can be particularly pronounced if you’re trying to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a noisy space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep suggesting you have your hearing checked
Your friends and family most likely know you pretty well. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. It’s a smart plan to pay attention to your family members (especially 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 advice. Perhaps 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 have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called 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 triggered by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of damage. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to develop both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more obvious: In your typical 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 noticing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is going on in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social engagement
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have become completely exhausting. Or perhaps, 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 event. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain works really hard to fill in those holes. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So when you’re in especially challenging situations (like a noisy space), you might experience even more fatigue.
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. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you protect your ears when you’re subjected to loud sound.
So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! The sooner your hearing loss is identified, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment.