Bananas don’t taste like they once did. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a very different variety of banana then they used to. These new bananas develop faster, are more resilient, and can prosper in a wider range of climates. And they taste very different. So how did this swap happen without us detecting it? Well, the truth is that it developed slowly, over time. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
Hearing loss can happen in the same way. It isn’t like suddenly your hearing is totally gone. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it progresses so slowly.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s a regrettable truth. If you are aware that your hearing is in danger, for example, you might take more precautions to protect it. That’s why it may be worthwhile to watch for these seven signs your hearing could be waning.
You should get your hearing evaluated if you experience any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss develops gradually and over time, but it isn’t always well understood. It’s not like you’ll be totally incapable of hearing the day after you went to that big rock show. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. The earlier you treat your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You don’t want to put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been connected to problems like social isolation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven indications that you might be developing hearing loss. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing test, but these indicators might encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You’re constantly cranking the volume up
Are you constantly turning up the volume on your devices? Sure, maybe it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, or that the sound mixing on TV shows is drastically different than it used to be. 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 regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often detect your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing issues if you are continuously missing everyday sounds. Here are a few common sounds you could be missing:
- Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): You thought your friend just walked into your house but actually missed him knocking.
- Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? 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 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 afraid to drive with you.
Sign #3: You keep needing people to repeat what they said
Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re constantly asking people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it’s not because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). If people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear them this is particularly relevant. Definitely, time to schedule a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. If it sounds like everybody around you is constantly mumbling or talking under their breath, the truth is… well, they likely aren’t. That may be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling stuff about you). The truth is that you’re simply not hearing them due to your loss of hearing.
This can be particularly noticeable if you’re attempting to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you need to have a conversation in a loud space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to get a hearing test (or invest in hearing aids)
You probably have a rather close relationship with your friends and family. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. It’s a good idea to pay attention to your family members (especially 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 proposal. Maybe you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could do your hearing a favor by heeding their advice.
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 uncommon. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become extreme for a couple of reasons:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of 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: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your daily life. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and considerably more noticeable.
It could be an indication that you’re dealing with 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 need to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling fatigued
Perhaps the reason why social situations have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you used to.
Your hearing could be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. Your brain is trying 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 when you’re in especially strenuous situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more fatigue.
Start by coming to see us
The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage during our lives. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you protect your ears when you’re exposed to loud sound.
So if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and contact us for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you get diagnosed.