Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are extremely different varieties of bananas being cultivated these days by banana farmers. These new bananas develop faster, are more resilient, and can prosper in a wider variety of climates. And they taste quite different. So how did this change occur 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 suddenly your hearing is completely gone. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it develops so slowly.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s a regrettable 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 evaluated if you exhibit any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it develops gradually over time. It isn’t like you’ll be totally incapable of hearing the day after you went to that big rock show. 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 protect it. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to a greater danger of problems such as dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it’s not something you should mess around with.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven signs that you might be developing hearing loss. A hearing exam is the only way to be sure, but perhaps these warning signs will prompt you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Are you continually turning up the volume on your devices? Sure, maybe it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, 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 cranking the volume up on your devices.
This is especially the case if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can usually spot hearing issues in you sooner than you can.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing issues if you are constantly missing day to day sounds. A few of the most ordinary noises you may miss include:
- Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): When your good friend abruptly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you simply missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get overcooked? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since no one makes calls nowadays.
If your family and friends have pointed out 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 backing up), that could be an indication that it’s time for a hearing assessment.
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 a problem with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat themselves when they’re talking with you. If people do repeat what they said and you still can’t hear them this is especially true. Probably, time to schedule a hearing exam.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. You should recognize that people most likely 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 things about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re just having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be especially 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 noisy space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep suggesting you have your hearing tested
You probably have a rather close relationship with your friends and family. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. If your family members (particularly younger) are informing you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a smart plan to listen to them (no pun intended).
We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this recommendation away. 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)
Ringing in your ears is a condition known as tinnitus. It’s very common. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Damage can cause both: Damage causes both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So you’re more likely to develop tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Tinnitus is more noticeable when you have hearing loss: In your typical day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you encounter. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes relatively louder and substantially more noticeable.
In either case, if you’re experiencing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be an indication 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 tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or perhaps, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it once was.
Your hearing may be the reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. Your brain is trying to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So when you’re in especially strenuous situations (such as a noisy space), you might experience even more exhaustion.
The first step is calling us for an appointment
Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some degree. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you safeguard your ears when you’re subjected to loud noise.
So if you’ve experienced 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 tested! The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to receive treatment.