Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are extremely different types of bananas being grown nowadays by banana farmers. Today’s banana can develop successfully in a large number of climates, are more robust, and can grow faster. And they taste very different. So how did this change occur without us noticing? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, over time. You never noticed the gradual change.
The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It’s not like suddenly your hearing is totally gone. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes unobserved because it progresses so slowly.
That’s regrettable because early intervention can help preserve your hearing. If you are aware that your hearing is in danger, for instance, you might take more precautions to protect it. That’s why it may be worthwhile to watch for these seven indications your hearing might be waning.
7 signs you should get a hearing test
Hearing loss occurs slowly and over time, but it’s not always well understood. It’s not as if you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely unable to hear. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. The sooner you treat your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to an increased danger of issues such as dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it’s not something you should mess around with.
These seven indicators are what you should be paying attention to out for. A hearing test is the only way to know, but maybe these warning signs will prompt you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Are you constantly cranking up the volume on your devices? Sure, possibly it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have begun to mumble, or that the sound mixing on TV shows is dramatically different than it used to be. But it’s more likely that you’re compensating for your increasing hearing loss by cranking 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 notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re continuously missing some everyday sounds, that could be an indication of trouble with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you may be missing:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your good friend abruptly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did in fact knock, you simply missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get overcooked? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? Nobody calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
You’re missing important sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your family and friends are becoming afraid to drive with you.
Sign #3: You’re continuously needing people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently used words? It’s likely that it’s an issue with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat themselves when they talk to you. If people do repeat what they said and you still can’t hear them this is especially relevant. Most likely, time to get a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: It sounds like everyone’s always mumbling
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we might 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 like this. That might be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). The reality is that you’re just not hearing them because of your hearing loss.
This can be especially noticeable if you’re trying to listen to somebody 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 suggesting you have your hearing checked
You most likely have a rather close relationship with your family and friends. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. If your family members (especially younger) are informing you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a good idea to listen to them (no pun intended).
We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this advice away. Perhaps you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But you could do your hearing a favor by taking their advice.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s incredibly common. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can trigger both: 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.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more noticeable: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you experience. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes relatively louder and significantly 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 should come see us for an exam.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling fatigued
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have become totally exhausting. Or maybe, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it used to be.
When you leave a restaurant or a social event feeling completely depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the reason why. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain tries overtime to fill in those gaps. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So when you’re in especially challenging situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more exhaustion.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage in our lifetimes. Exactly 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 if you’ve encountered 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.