Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are extremely different varieties of bananas being grown nowadays by banana farmers. These new bananas sprout faster, are more robust, and can prosper in a wider variety of climates. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana exchange? Well, the truth is that it developed slowly, over time. The change was so slow you never noticed.
The same thing can occur with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like all of a sudden your hearing is completely gone. For the majority of people, hearing loss advances gradually, often so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s happening.
Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. If you are aware that your hearing is in danger, for example, you might take more precautions to protect it. So it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.
7 indications you should get a hearing assessment
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it develops gradually over time. It’s not like you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself totally unable to hear. Repeated exposure to loud noise over a long period of time slowly results in noticeable hearing loss. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to a greater risk of problems like dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it’s not something you should mess around with.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven indications that you may be developing hearing loss. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing assessment, but these indicators might encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you normally would have.
Sign #1: You keep cranking 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 actors have begun to mumble. But it’s more likely that you’re compensating for your increasing hearing loss by turning the volume up on your devices.
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 didn’t hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re constantly missing some day to day sounds, that might be an indication of issues with your ears. Some of the most ordinary sounds you may miss include:
- Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): 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 might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? No one calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
If your family and friends have mentioned 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 backing up), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing test.
Sign #3: You’re always needing 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 themselves when they’re talking with you. If people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear them this is particularly true. Probably, time to schedule a hearing exam.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
You could also call this sign #3-A, because they go rather well together. If it sounds as if everyone around you is constantly mumbling or saying something under their breath, the reality is… well, they probably aren’t. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it might be a comfort to learn they’re actually not. Instead, it’s more likely that you’re just having a hard 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 true.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep recommending you get your hearing checked
You probably have a rather close relationship with your family and friends. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. It’s a smart idea to pay attention to your family members (particularly the younger ones) if they are telling you something is going on 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 taking their advice could maintain the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance issues
Ringing in your ears is a condition called tinnitus. It’s not at all unusual. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become severe for a couple of reasons:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by damage. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Tinnitus is more noticeable when you have hearing loss: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you encounter. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
It could be an indication that you’re experiencing problems with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance problems and vertigo. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you should come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social interactions
Perhaps the reason why social interactions have become so exhausting is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you once did.
Your hearing may be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. Your brain is attempting to fill in the holes that you can’t hear. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So you may experience even more exhaustion when you’re in an especially noisy setting.
The first step is calling us for an appointment
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 may be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and give us a call for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.