Bananas don’t taste like they once did. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow a really different variety of banana then they used to. These new bananas sprout faster, are more robust, and can prosper in a wider range of climates. And they taste quite different. So how did this swap occur without us detecting it? Well, the reality is that it happened slowly, through the years. The change was so slow you never noticed.
Hearing loss can happen in the same way. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear anything. For most people, hearing loss develops gradually, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.
Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. If you know that your hearing is in danger, for example, you might take more safeguards to protect it. So it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for these seven signs of waning hearing.
You should get your hearing tested if you experience any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss isn’t always well understood as it happens gradually over time. It isn’t as if you’ll be completely unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock concert. Recurring exposure to loud sound over a long period of time gradually leads to recognizable hearing loss. The earlier you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to a greater danger of issues like dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it isn’t something you want to mess around with.
These seven signs are what you should be watching out for. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing test, but these signs might encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Are you constantly turning up the volume on your devices? Sure, possibly it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, or that the sound mixing on TV shows is drastically different than it was before. But it’s also possible (if not probable) that you’re hearing is slowly degrading, and that you’re increasing the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
This is especially the case if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will frequently observe your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing problems if you are continuously missing day to day sounds. Here are some common sounds you might be missing:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your best friend unexpectedly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did in fact 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 too quiet.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? Nobody makes phone calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
If your loved ones have mentioned that they’re a little scared of driving with you because you’re missing so many day to day sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing assessment.
Sign #3: You’re constantly asking people to repeat what they said
Are your most commonly 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 don’t hear them this is especially relevant. Looks like a hearing test is needed.
Sign #4: It sounds like everyone’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go rather well together. If it sounds like everybody around you is continuously mumbling or talking under their breath, the truth is… well, they likely aren’t. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it might be a relief to learn they’re actually not. The reality is that you’re simply not hearing them because of your loss of hearing.
If you’re trying to talk to someone in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be especially true.
Sign #5: Family members encourage you to get a hearing test (or get hearing aids)
You most likely have a rather close relationship with your family and friends. And some of them most likely have 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 understandable that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Maybe you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. 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 known as tinnitus. It isn’t at all uncommon. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of 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 obvious: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you experience. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes relatively louder and considerably 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 problems and vertigo. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel exhausted after social interactions
Maybe the reason why social interactions have become so exhausting 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.
When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling totally depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) might be the cause. Your brain is attempting to fill in the holes that you can’t hear. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So when you’re in particularly strenuous situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more exhaustion.
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 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. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.