Bananas taste a lot different then they did in the past. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a really 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 sprout faster. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this swap take place without us noticing? Well, the truth is that it developed slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual change.
The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear a thing. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it progresses so slowly.
That’s unfortunate because early intervention can help preserve your hearing. You can take measures to protect your hearing if you recognize that it’s at risk. That’s why it may be worthwhile to watch for these seven indications your hearing could be waning.
7 signs you should get a hearing assessment
Hearing loss isn’t always thoroughly understood as it happens slowly over time. It isn’t like you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself totally incapable of hearing. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to an increased danger of issues like dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it’s not something you want to mess about with.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven indications that you may be experiencing hearing loss. 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 continually cranking the volume up
Do you find yourself frequently reaching for the volume controls? 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 probable) that you’re hearing is gradually degrading, and that you’re raising the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
This is especially the situation if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can usually notice hearing trouble in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re frequently missing some everyday sounds, that could be a sign of trouble with your ears. A few of the most ordinary noises you might miss include:
- Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): When your good friend abruptly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you simply missed it.
- Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through 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 calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone 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’re constantly needing 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 themselves when they’re talking with you. This is especially relevant if people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear what they say. Looks like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. You should know 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. That may be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). The truth is that you’re simply not hearing them due to your loss of hearing.
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 relevant.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to take a hearing assessment (or invest in hearing aids)
Your friends and family probably know you quite well. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. It’s a smart idea to pay attention 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 advice 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 known as tinnitus. It’s very common. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you’re dealing with hearing loss:
- Both can be caused by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be brought on 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 normal day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you encounter. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
In either case, if you’re going through loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is going on in your ears. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you should come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling fatigued
Perhaps the reason why social interactions have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you used to.
Your hearing may be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain works overtime to fill in those holes. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So you may experience even more fatigue when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.
The first step is calling 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) may have a big impact 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 encounter any of these signs. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get tested! The sooner your hearing loss is identified, the sooner you’ll be able to receive treatment.