Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow an exceptionally different type of banana then they used to. These new bananas sprout faster, are more resilient, and can prosper in a wider range of climates. And they taste quite different. So why haven’t you detected the great banana swap? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like you wake up one day and can’t hear anything. For the majority of individuals, hearing loss progresses slowly, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s taking place.
That’s regrettable because early intervention can help preserve your hearing. If you know that your hearing is in danger, for instance, you may take more precautions to protect it. 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 test
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it develops gradually over time. It isn’t as if you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely unable to hear. Recurring exposure to loud noise over a long period of time slowly results in recognizable hearing loss. The earlier you treat your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You shouldn’t put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been connected to issues such as social isolation, depression, and dementia.
These seven indicators are what you should be watching out for. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing exam, but these signs might encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You’re constantly turning up the volume
Are you constantly cranking up the volume on your devices? Maybe they’re mixing the audio 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 cranking the volume up on your devices.
If others keep telling you the TV is too high this is particularly likely. They will often notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be a sign that you’re having hearing issues if you are continuously missing day to day sounds. Here are some common sounds you may be missing:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but actually missed him knocking.
- Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get overcooked? It may not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Are you missing text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since nobody makes calls nowadays.
You’re missing important 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 constantly asking people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently used words? If you’re regularly asking people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it isn’t because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is particularly true if people do repeat what they said and you still can’t hear what they’re saying. Most likely, time to get a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: It sounds like everyone’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go pretty well together. You should realize that people most likely aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it feel that way. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it might be a comfort to learn they’re actually not. Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be particularly pronounced if you’re trying to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a loud space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep suggesting you get your hearing checked
You most likely have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. If your family members (particularly younger) are telling you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a good idea to listen to them (no pun intended).
We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this advice away. Maybe you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But taking their advice could maintain the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance issues
When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s not at all unusual. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can cause both: Damage triggers both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So you’re more likely to develop tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more obvious: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your day-to-day life. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
It could be an indication that you’re dealing with issues with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance issues and vertigo. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you should come see us for an exam.
Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social interactions
Perhaps the reason why social situations 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.
Your hearing might be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. Your brain is attempting to fill in the holes that you can’t hear. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So when you’re in especially challenging situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more fatigue.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage in our lifetimes. Just how much (and how often you were using hearing protection) might have a huge impact on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss at all.
So it may 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 identified, the sooner you’ll be able to receive treatment.