Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow a really different variety of banana then they used to. Today’s banana can grow successfully in a wide variety of climates, are more robust, and can develop faster. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you detected the great banana swap? Well, the change wasn’t a quick one. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
The same thing can occur with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like you wake up one day and can’t hear anything. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes unnoticed because it advances so slowly.
That’s regrettable because early intervention can help maintain your hearing. You can take measures to safeguard 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 develops gradually and over time, but it isn’t always well grasped. It’s not as if you’ll be totally incapable of hearing the day after you went to that big rock show. Repetitive exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually produces noticeable hearing loss. The sooner you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You shouldn’t 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 may be experiencing hearing loss. A hearing exam is the only way to be sure, but maybe these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You’re constantly turning the volume up
Do you find yourself constantly reaching for the volume controls? Perhaps 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 turning the volume up on your devices.
If others keep telling you the volume is too high this is especially likely. They can usually notice hearing trouble in you sooner than you can.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
It could be a sign that you’re having hearing problems 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): You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but actually missed him knocking.
- Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get overcooked? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? Nobody calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
You’re missing crucial sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your friends and family are becoming scared to drive with you.
Sign #3: You’re always needing people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently used words? If you’re always asking 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 can’t hear them this is especially true. Probably, time to get a hearing exam.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everybody’s always mumbling
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. You should know that people most likely aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it feel like this. That might be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). The truth is that you’re simply not hearing them due to your hearing loss.
If you’re trying to talk to somebody in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be particularly true.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to take a hearing test (or get hearing aids)
You probably have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. It’s a good idea to pay attention to your family members (particularly the younger ones) if they are telling you something is going on with your hearing.
It’s understandable that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Possibly you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But you could do your hearing a favor by heeding their advice.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
Ringing in your ears is a condition called tinnitus. It’s incredibly common. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become extreme for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can trigger both: 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.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more pronounced: In your normal day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you encounter. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (as a result of hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes relatively louder and substantially more noticeable.
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: Socializing leaves you feeling fatigued
Perhaps the reason why social situations have become so exhausting 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 used to be.
When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling utterly exhausted, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the reason why. 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 fatigue when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.
The first step is getting in touch with 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 safeguard your ears when you’re exposed to loud sound.
So it might be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment.