Bananas taste a lot different then they did in the past. There are very different types of bananas being grown today by banana farmers. These new bananas grow faster, are more robust, and can prosper in a wider variety of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this swap happen without us noticing? Well, the truth is that it developed slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual change.
Hearing loss can happen in a similar way. It’s not like all of a sudden your hearing is totally gone. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it develops so slowly.
That’s unfortunate because early treatment 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 keep an eye out for these seven signs of waning hearing.
You should get your hearing evaluated if you notice any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss develops gradually and over time, but it isn’t always well understood. It’s not as if you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself totally unable to hear. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. The earlier you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to an increased danger of problems such as dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it isn’t something you should mess about with.
These seven signs are what you should be watching out for. A hearing exam is the only way to know, but maybe these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself frequently reaching for the volume controls? Sure, maybe it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have begun to mumble, or that the audio 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 turning the volume up on your devices.
If others keep telling you the TV is too high this is especially likely. They can often notice hearing problems in you sooner than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re frequently missing some everyday sounds, that may be a sign of trouble with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you may be missing:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: When your good friend unexpectedly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you simply missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is too quiet.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? Nobody calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
If your family and friends have pointed out that they’re a little scared 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 a sign that it’s time for a hearing test.
Sign #3: You keep needing people to repeat what they said
Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? 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 talk to you. If people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear them this is particularly true. Looks like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everybody’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go rather well together. If it sounds as if everybody around you is constantly mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they likely aren’t. That may be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling things about you). Instead, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be especially noticeable if you’re trying to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you need to have a conversation in a noisy space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to get a hearing exam (or get hearing aids)
You most likely have a rather close relationship with your friends and family. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. If your members of your family (especially younger) are telling you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a smart plan to listen to them (no pun intended).
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 preserve the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance problems
When you’re experiencing ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s extremely common. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Both can be caused by damage: Damage triggers 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 obvious when you have hearing loss: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your daily life. 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 an indication that something is going on in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.
Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social interactions
Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social settings have become totally draining. Or maybe, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it once was.
Your hearing could be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain tries really hard to fill in those holes. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So you might experience even more exhaustion when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.
Begin by coming to see us
The truth is that we all experience some hearing damage during our lives. Exactly 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 in the first place.
So it might be an indication that the banana is changing if you encounter any of these signs. Happily, you can take matters into your own hands and contact us for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you get diagnosed.