Bananas taste a lot different then they used to. There are extremely different varieties of bananas being grown these days by banana farmers. These new bananas develop faster, are more robust, and can thrive in a wider variety of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this change happen without us noticing? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, over time. The change was so slow you never noticed.
Hearing loss can occur in the same way. It isn’t like all of a sudden your hearing is completely gone. For most individuals, hearing loss progresses slowly, frequently so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s happening.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. You can take measures to protect your hearing if you recognize that it’s at risk. That’s why it might be important to watch for these seven indications your hearing could be waning.
7 signs you should get a hearing exam
Hearing loss isn’t always well understood as it happens slowly over time. It’s not as if you’ll be totally incapable of hearing the day after you went to that big rock concert. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) builds up over time. The sooner you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to a greater risk of problems such as dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it’s not something you want to mess around with.
These seven indicators are what you should be watching out for. 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 turning up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Sure, possibly 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 also possible (if not probable) that you’re hearing is slowly going, and that you’re raising the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
This is especially the situation if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often observe your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re constantly missing some everyday sounds, that may be an indication of issues with your ears. Here are some common sounds you could be missing:
- Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): You thought your friend just walked into your house but you in fact missed him knocking.
- 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: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since no one makes calls nowadays.
If your family and friends have mentioned that they’re a little afraid of driving with you because you’re missing so many everyday sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck backing up), that could be a sign 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 regularly used words? 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 fail to hear them this is especially true. Probably, time to get a hearing exam.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. 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 seem like this. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it might be a comfort to find out they’re actually not. The reality is that you’re simply not hearing them because of your loss of hearing.
This can be especially 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 loud space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep recommending you have your hearing tested
You most likely have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. If your members of your family (especially younger) are informing you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a good idea to listen to them (no pun intended).
We get that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this advice away. Possibly you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But heeding their advice could maintain the health of your hearing.
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 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: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be brought on by damage. 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: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your daily life. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
In either case, if you’re noticing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is happening in your ears. And that means (no shock here), yes, you should come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling exhausted
Maybe the reason why social situations have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you once did.
Your hearing could be the reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. Your brain is trying to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So you might experience even more fatigue when you’re in an especially noisy setting.
The first step is calling us for an appointment
Honestly, hearing damage is common to everybody to some degree. Exactly how much (and how frequently you were using hearing protection) may have a huge affect on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss in the first place.
So if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s a sign that the banana is changing. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get tested! The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment.