Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are extremely different varieties of bananas being cultivated today by banana farmers. Today’s banana can develop successfully in a large number of climates, are more resilient, and can sprout faster. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana exchange? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, over time. The change was so slow you never noticed.
The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like you wake up one day and can’t hear anything. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes unobserved because it progresses so slowly.
That’s regrettable because early intervention can help maintain your hearing. You can take measures to protect your hearing if you’re aware that it’s in danger. That’s why it may be significant to watch for these seven signs your hearing could be waning.
You should have your hearing evaluated if you notice any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss happens slowly and over time, but it’s not always well understood. It isn’t like you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself totally unable to hear. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) builds up over time. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. You shouldn’t put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been connected to problems like social separation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven signs that you might be developing hearing loss. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing test, but these signs might encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Maybe they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists 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 can often recognize hearing problems in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re regularly missing some everyday sounds, that could be an indication of issues with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you might be missing:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your best friend unexpectedly walks into your house, take into account 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: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since no one makes calls nowadays.
If your family and friends have mentioned that they’re kind of scared of driving with you because you’re missing 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’re always asking people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most commonly used words? If you’re constantly needing people to repeat what they said, it’s very, very possible it isn’t because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is especially relevant if people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Looks like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we may 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. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it may be a comfort to find out they’re actually not. Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be especially noticeable if you’re attempting to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you need to have a conversation in a loud space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep suggesting you have your hearing tested
Your family and friends most likely know you pretty well. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. If your family members (especially younger) are informing you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a good plan to listen to them (no pun intended).
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 you could do your hearing a favor by taking their advice.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance problems
When you’re experiencing ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition known as tinnitus. It’s really common. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become severe for a couple of reasons:
- Both can be caused by damage: Damage triggers both tinnitus and hearing loss. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more pronounced: 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.
It could be a sign that you’re experiencing problems with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance issues and vertigo. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.
Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social engagement
Perhaps the reason why social interactions have become so tiring 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.
When you leave a restaurant or a social event feeling totally drained, your hearing (or lack thereof) might be the reason why. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain tries really hard to fill in those holes. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. 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
Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some level. Just how much (and how often you were wearing hearing protection) may have a huge impact 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.