Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. There are very different varieties of bananas being cultivated nowadays by banana farmers. These new bananas sprout faster, are more resilient, and can prosper in a wider range of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you detected the great banana swap? Well, the reality is that it happened slowly, through the years. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
Hearing loss can occur in a similar way. It isn’t like you get up one day and can’t hear anything. For most people, hearing loss develops slowly, frequently so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s taking place.
That’s unfortunate because early intervention can help preserve your hearing. You can take steps to protect your hearing if you recognize that it’s in danger. So it’s a good plan to be on the lookout for these seven signs of waning hearing.
7 signs you should get a hearing assessment
Hearing loss isn’t always thoroughly understood as it develops slowly over time. It’s not like you’ll be completely unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock show. Repeated 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. You don’t want to put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been linked to problems like social separation, depression, and dementia.
These seven indicators are what you should be watching out for. A hearing test is the only way to know, but maybe these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Are you constantly cranking up the volume on your devices? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have started to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not likely) that you’re hearing is slowly going, and that you’re increasing the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
This is particularly the case if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often notice your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re frequently missing some everyday sounds, that might be an indication of trouble with your ears. Some of the most common noises you may miss include:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: When your good friend unexpectedly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did in fact knock, you just missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get overcooked? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? Nobody calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
You’re missing essential sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your family and friends are becoming afraid to drive with you.
Sign #3: You keep asking people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most regularly used words? 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’re talking with you. This is particularly true if people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear what they’re saying. Seems like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: Is everybody 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 continuously mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they probably aren’t. That might be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling things about you). The truth is that you’re simply not hearing them because of your hearing loss.
If you’re attempting 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 encourage you to get a hearing exam (or get hearing aids)
Your family and friends probably know you quite well. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. It’s a good idea to listen to your family members (particularly the younger ones) if they are telling you something’s up with your hearing.
It’s easy to understand that you would want to rationalize away this advice. Perhaps you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But taking their advice could protect the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance problems
When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition known as tinnitus. It isn’t at all uncommon. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become severe for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can trigger both: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by 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 noticeable: In your normal day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you encounter. But as those everyday noises fade to the background (as a result of hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and considerably more noticeable.
Either way, if you’re noticing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is happening in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.
Sign #7: You feel tired after social engagement
Perhaps the reason why social interactions have become so exhausting 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 event feeling completely depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) could be the reason why. Your brain is trying to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So when you’re in especially challenging situations (like a noisy space), you may experience even more fatigue.
The first step is calling us for an appointment
Honestly, hearing damage is common to everybody to some degree. 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 if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s a sign that the banana is changing. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and contact us for an appointment. The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to receive treatment.