Bananas taste much different then they used to. There are rather different types of bananas being grown nowadays by banana farmers. Today’s banana can grow successfully in a large number of climates, are more resilient, and can develop faster. And they taste quite different. So how did this change occur without us detecting it? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. You never noticed the gradual switch.
Hearing loss can occur in the same way. It isn’t like suddenly your hearing is completely gone. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes unnoticed because it advances so slowly.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s a regrettable truth. If you know that your hearing is at risk, for instance, you might take more precautions to protect it. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.
You should have your hearing evaluated if you experience any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss isn’t always thoroughly understood as it develops gradually over time. It’s not as if you’ll be completely unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock concert. Recurring exposure to loud sound over a long period of time gradually results in recognizable hearing loss. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to protect it. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk of issues including dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it isn’t something you want to mess around with.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven signs that you may be developing hearing loss. A hearing exam is the only way to be sure, but perhaps these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep cranking up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have begun to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not likely) 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 particularly the situation if your family has also constantly 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 missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be a sign that you’re having hearing trouble if you are constantly missing day to day sounds. A few of the most common sounds you might miss include:
- Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): You thought your friend just walked into your house but you in fact missed his knocks.
- Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get overcooked? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Are you missing text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since no one makes calls nowadays.
If your loved ones have mentioned that they’re kind of afraid of driving with you because you miss so many day to day sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing assessment.
Sign #3: You’re continuously needing people to repeat themselves
Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re always needing people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it isn’t because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). If people do repeat what they said and you still fail to hear them this is especially true. Seems like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go pretty well together. You should recognize 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 think people are mumbling about you, so it may be a relief to find out they’re actually not. The truth is that you’re simply not hearing them due to your loss of hearing.
This can be particularly noticeable if you’re trying to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you need to have a conversation in a noisy space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to take a hearing test (or get hearing aids)
Your family and friends probably know you quite well. And some of them probably have 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 easy to understand that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Perhaps you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could give your hearing an advantage by heeding their advice.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
When you’re experiencing ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s incredibly common. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be brought on by damage. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to experience both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more pronounced: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you encounter. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes relatively louder and considerably more noticeable.
It could be an indication that you’re experiencing issues with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance problems and vertigo. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.
Sign #7: You feel exhausted after social engagement
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social settings have become completely draining. Or maybe, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it used to be.
Your hearing may be the reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain works overtime to fill in those holes. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So when you’re in especially strenuous situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more exhaustion.
Start by coming to see us
The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage in our lifetimes. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you safeguard your ears when you’re exposed to loud noise.
So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Happily, 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.