Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow a really different type of banana then they used to. Today’s banana can develop successfully in a wide variety of climates, are more resilient, and can sprout faster. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you detected the great banana swap? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
Hearing loss can happen in a similar way. It isn’t like you get up one day and can’t hear a thing. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it advances so slowly.
That’s unfortunate because early treatment can help maintain your hearing. If you are aware that your hearing is at risk, for instance, you might take more safeguards to protect it. That’s why it may be significant to watch for these seven indications your hearing could be waning.
You should get your hearing tested if you notice any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss happens slowly and over time, but it isn’t always well understood. It’s not like you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely incapable of hearing. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) builds up over time. The sooner you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You shouldn’t put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been connected to problems such as social isolation, depression, and dementia.
These seven indicators are what you should be watching out for. A hearing exam is the only way to know, but maybe these warning signs will prompt you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep cranking up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself constantly reaching for the volume controls? 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 cranking the volume up on your devices.
This is particularly the situation if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will frequently detect your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
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 could be missing:
- Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): When your good friend suddenly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did in fact knock, you just missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? 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? No one makes phone calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
You’re missing crucial 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’re constantly needing people to repeat what they said
Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re regularly needing people to repeat what they said, it’s very, very possible it isn’t because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). If people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear them this is particularly relevant. Looks like a hearing test is needed.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everyone’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go rather well together. If it sounds like everyone around you is continuously mumbling or saying something under their breath, the truth is… well, they likely aren’t. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it may be a comfort to find out they’re actually not. The truth is that you’re just not hearing them due to your loss of hearing.
If you’re attempting to talk to somebody in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be especially true.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep suggesting you have your hearing tested
You most likely have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. It’s a good plan to listen to your family members (particularly 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 proposal. Maybe you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But taking their advice could protect 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 isn’t at all uncommon. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can trigger both: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by damage. So you’re more likely to develop 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.
Either way, if you’re experiencing 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 exhausted after social interactions
Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social interactions have become completely draining. Or maybe, 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 tries overtime to fill in those holes. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So you may experience even more exhaustion when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.
Begin by coming to see us
Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some degree. Exactly how much (and how often you were wearing hearing protection) might have a huge affect on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss in the first place.
So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Happily, you can take matters into your own hands and give us a call for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you get diagnosed.