Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a really different variety of banana then they did in the past. These new bananas sprout faster, are more robust, and can prosper in a wider variety of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana swap? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
Hearing loss can occur in the same way. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear anything. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes unobserved because it develops so slowly.
That’s regrettable 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. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.
You should get your hearing tested if you notice any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss isn’t always thoroughly understood as it happens gradually over time. It isn’t like you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself completely incapable of hearing. Repetitive exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually results in recognizable hearing loss. The sooner you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to a greater danger of problems such as dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it isn’t something you should mess around with.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven signs that you may be experiencing hearing loss. A hearing test is the only way to be sure, but perhaps these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep cranking up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have begun to mumble. 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 will often observe your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re constantly missing some day to day sounds, that might be an indication of trouble with your ears. Some of the most common noises you might miss include:
- Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): You thought your friend just walked into your house but actually missed his knocks.
- Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is too quiet.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? Nobody makes phone 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 keep asking people to repeat what they said
Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re regularly needing people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it’s not because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is especially relevant if people do repeat what they said and you still can’t hear what they’re saying. Seems like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
You could also call this sign #3-A, because they go rather well together. If it sounds like everyone around you is constantly mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they probably aren’t. That may be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling things about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re just having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.
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
Your family and friends probably know you quite well. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. If your family members (especially younger) are telling you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a good plan to listen to them (no pun intended).
It’s easy to understand that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Perhaps you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could give your hearing an advantage by taking their advice.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
When you’re experiencing ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition known as tinnitus. It isn’t at all uncommon. There are a couple of reasons why you may experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Damage can cause both: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by damage. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Tinnitus is more pronounced when you have hearing loss: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you experience. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
It could be an indication that you’re experiencing problems with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance problems and vertigo. And that means (no shock here), yes, you need to come see us for a hearing test.
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 it might be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you used to.
When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling utterly depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) could be the cause. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain works overtime to fill in those holes. This is fatiguing (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 getting in touch with us for an appointment
The truth is that we all encounter 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 subjected to loud noise.
So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! The sooner your hearing loss is identified, the sooner you’ll be able to receive treatment.