Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow a very different type of banana then they used to. Today’s banana can grow easily in a large number of climates, are more resilient, and can grow faster. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this swap happen without us noticing? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, over time. You never noticed the gradual change.
Hearing loss can happen in a similar way. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear a thing. For most individuals, hearing loss progresses slowly, frequently so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.
That’s regrettable because early treatment can help preserve your hearing. You can take measures to safeguard your hearing if you recognize that it’s in danger. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.
7 indications you should get a hearing exam
Hearing loss develops slowly and over time, but it’s not always well understood. It’s not as if you’ll be totally unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock concert. Repeated exposure to loud sound over a long period of time slowly results in recognizable hearing loss. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. You shouldn’t put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been linked to issues like social separation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven indications that you might be developing hearing loss. A hearing test is the only way to know, but perhaps these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You’re continually cranking up the volume
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 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 particularly the situation if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often detect your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
It could be a sign that you’re having hearing trouble if you are continuously missing everyday sounds. A few of the most ordinary noises you might miss include:
- 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 your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Are you missing text messages? No one makes phone calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
If your family and friends have pointed out that they’re a little afraid of driving with you because you miss so many common sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be an indication that it’s time for a hearing test.
Sign #3: You keep needing people to repeat what they said
Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? It’s likely that it’s a problem with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat what they said when they talk to you. If people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear them this is particularly relevant. Looks like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everyone’s always mumbling
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. You should realize that people probably 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 relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling things about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re just having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
If you’re trying to talk to someone 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 invest in hearing aids)
You probably have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. It’s a good plan to listen to your family members (especially the younger ones) if they are telling you something is going on with your hearing.
We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this recommendation away. Maybe 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: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance problems
Ringing in your ears is a condition called tinnitus. It’s not at all unusual. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Damage can trigger both: 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 experience both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more obvious: 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 noticing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be an indication that something is happening in your ears. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you need to come see us for an exam.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted
Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have grown totally 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 affair. Your brain is attempting to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So when you’re in particularly strenuous situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more fatigue.
Begin by coming to see us
The truth is that we all experience some hearing damage in our lifetimes. Just how much (and how often you were wearing hearing protection) might have a big affect on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss in the first place.
So it might 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 contact us for an appointment. The sooner your hearing loss is identified, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment.