Bananas taste a lot different then they did in the past. There are rather different types of bananas being grown today by banana farmers. Today’s banana can develop successfully in a wide variety of climates, are more resilient, and can develop faster. And they taste very different. So how did this swap occur without us noticing? Well, the change wasn’t a quick one. The change was so slow you never noticed.
Hearing loss can occur in a similar way. It’s not like suddenly your hearing is entirely gone. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes unobserved because it develops so slowly.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. If you know that your hearing is in danger, for example, you might take more precautions to protect it. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these seven signs of waning hearing.
7 indications you should get a hearing assessment
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it happens slowly over time. It’s not as if you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself totally unable to hear. Repeated exposure to loud sound over a long period of time gradually leads to noticeable hearing loss. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to protect it. You shouldn’t put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been linked to issues such as social separation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven indications that you may be developing hearing loss. A hearing exam is the only way to be sure, but maybe 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 artists have begun to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not probable) that you’re hearing is slowly going, and that you’re increasing the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
This is especially the case if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing trouble if you are continuously missing everyday sounds. A few of the most ordinary noises you may miss include:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but actually missed his knocks.
- Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get burned? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? No one makes phone calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
If your family and friends have stated that they’re kind of scared of driving with you because you’re missing so many everyday 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 keep asking people to repeat what they said
Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re constantly needing people to repeat what they said, it’s very, very possible it’s not because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is particularly true 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?
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go pretty well together. If it sounds as if everybody around you is constantly mumbling or saying something under their breath, the reality is… well, they probably aren’t. That might be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). Instead, it’s more likely that you’re just having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be particularly pronounced if you’re trying to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a loud space, like a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep recommending you get your hearing checked
Your family and friends probably know you quite well. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. It’s a good idea to listen to your family members (especially the younger ones) if they are telling you something is going on with your hearing.
We get that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this recommendation away. Perhaps you feel like 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 problems
Ringing in your ears is a condition known as tinnitus. It isn’t at all uncommon. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Damage can trigger both: Damage causes both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Tinnitus is more obvious when you have hearing loss: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you encounter. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (as a result of hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and significantly more noticeable.
It could be an indication that you’re dealing with issues 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 test.
Sign #7: You feel exhausted after social interactions
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social settings have grown totally draining. Or maybe, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it once was.
Your hearing may be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain works really hard to fill in those holes. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So you may experience even more exhaustion when you’re in an especially noisy setting.
Begin by coming to see us
The truth is that we all experience some hearing damage during our lives. Just how much (and how frequently you were wearing 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 evaluated! The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment.