Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. There are rather different varieties of bananas being cultivated today by banana farmers. These new bananas grow faster, are more robust, and can thrive in a wider range of climates. And they taste quite different. So why haven’t you detected the great banana exchange? Well, the reality is that it developed slowly, over time. You never noticed the gradual switch.
Hearing loss can happen in a similar way. It isn’t like you wake up one day and can’t hear anything. For the majority of people, hearing loss progresses slowly, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.
That’s unfortunate because early intervention can help preserve your hearing. You can take steps to safeguard your hearing if you’re aware that it’s in danger. That’s why it might be worthwhile to watch for these seven signs your hearing could be waning.
You should get your hearing evaluated if you experience any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it develops gradually over time. 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) builds up over time. The sooner you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to a greater danger of issues such as dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it isn’t something you want to mess about 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 sure is to get a hearing test, but these indicators might encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you normally would have.
Sign #1: You’re continually turning the volume up
Are you continually cranking up the volume on your devices? Maybe they’re mixing the sound on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have started to mumble. But it’s more likely that you’re compensating for your increasing hearing loss by cranking the volume up on your devices.
If others keep telling you the TV is too loud this is particularly likely. They can usually spot hearing trouble in you faster 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. Here are a few common sounds you could be missing:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: You thought your friend just walked into your house but you in fact missed him knocking.
- Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get burned? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is too quiet.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since no one makes calls nowadays.
You’re missing important sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your family and friends are becoming scared to drive with you.
Sign #3: You keep asking people to repeat what they said
Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? 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. If people do repeat themselves and you still fail to hear them this is particularly relevant. Most likely, time to get a hearing exam.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everyone’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, because 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 probably aren’t. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it may be a relief to learn they’re actually not. The truth is that you’re just not hearing them due to your hearing loss.
If you’re attempting to talk to somebody in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be particularly relevant.
Sign #5: Family members encourage you to get a hearing assessment (or get hearing aids)
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 (especially 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 get that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this recommendation away. Perhaps you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could give your hearing an advantage by heeding their advice.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance problems
Ringing in your ears is a condition called tinnitus. It’s extremely common. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you’re dealing with hearing loss:
- Both can be caused by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be brought on by 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 noticeable: In your typical day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you experience. But as those everyday noises fade to the background (as a result of hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes relatively louder and significantly more noticeable.
It could be a sign that you’re experiencing problems with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance issues and vertigo. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling fatigued
Maybe the reason why social situations have become so tiring 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 once was.
Your hearing might 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 overtime to fill in those gaps. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So you might experience even more fatigue when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.
The first step is calling us for an appointment
The truth is that we all experience some hearing damage during our lives. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you protect your ears when you’re subjected to loud noise.
So it may be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Happily, you can take matters into your own hands and call us for an appointment. The sooner your hearing loss is identified, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment.