Bananas taste a lot different then they did in the past. There are very different varieties of bananas being cultivated these days by banana farmers. These new bananas develop 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 swap? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
Hearing loss can happen in a similar way. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear a thing. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes unnoticed because it progresses so slowly.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. If you are aware that your hearing is at risk, for instance, you might take more safeguards 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 evaluated if you exhibit any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss isn’t always thoroughly grasped as it happens slowly over time. It’s not as if you’ll be totally unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock concert. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) builds up over time. The earlier you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You don’t want to put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been linked to issues like social isolation, depression, and dementia.
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 sure is to get a hearing exam, but these signs might encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You’re constantly turning up the volume
Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? 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 probable) that you’re hearing is slowly degrading, 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 often detect your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re frequently missing some everyday sounds, that could be an indication of trouble with your ears. A few of the most ordinary noises you might miss include:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but you in fact missed him knocking.
- Alarms and timers: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It may not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? Nobody calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
If your family and friends have stated that they’re a little afraid 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 an indication that it’s time for a hearing assessment.
Sign #3: You’re always asking people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most regularly used words? It’s likely that it’s a problem 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. Looks like a hearing test is needed.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we may 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 like this. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it might be a comfort to find out 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 attempting to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a loud space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members encourage you to take a hearing assessment (or invest in hearing aids)
Your family and friends probably know you quite well. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. It’s a smart idea to pay attention to your family members (especially the younger ones) if they are telling you something is going on with your hearing.
It’s easy to understand that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Maybe you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But heeding their advice could preserve the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance issues
Ringing in your ears is a condition called tinnitus. It’s incredibly common. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can trigger both: Damage causes both tinnitus and hearing loss. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to experience both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is more noticeable when you have hearing loss: In your normal 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 an indication that you’re dealing with issues with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance problems and vertigo. And that means (no shock here), yes, you should come see us for an exam.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling exhausted
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have grown completely draining. Or perhaps, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it once was.
When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling completely exhausted, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the cause. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain works overtime to fill in those gaps. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. 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
The truth is that we all encounter 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 exposed to loud sound.
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 identified, the sooner you’ll be able to receive treatment.