Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. There are rather different varieties of bananas being cultivated nowadays by banana farmers. These new bananas sprout faster, are more resilient, and can thrive in a wider variety of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana exchange? Well, the truth is that it developed slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual switch.
The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like you wake up one day and can’t hear anything. For most people, hearing loss advances gradually, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.
Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. If you know that your hearing is at risk, for instance, you might take more precautions to protect it. That’s why it may be important to watch for these seven signs your hearing could be waning.
7 signs you should get a hearing test
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it develops gradually over time. It’s not like you’ll be completely unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock concert. Repeated exposure to loud sound over a long period of time slowly results in recognizable hearing loss. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. You shouldn’t put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been linked to issues such as social isolation, depression, and dementia.
These seven signs are what you should be paying attention to out for. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing test, but these signs may encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you normally would have.
Sign #1: You’re constantly turning the volume up
Are you continually turning up the volume on your devices? Maybe they’re mixing the sound on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have started to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not likely) that you’re hearing is slowly degrading, and that you’re raising the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
If others keep telling you the volume is too loud this is particularly likely. They can usually spot hearing issues in you sooner than you can.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re continually missing some day to day sounds, that might be an indication of issues with your ears. Some of the most common sounds you might miss include:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: You thought your friend just 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 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 nobody makes calls nowadays.
If your family and friends have pointed out that they’re kind of scared of driving with you because you miss so many common sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck backing up), that could be an indication that it’s time for a hearing test.
Sign #3: You keep needing people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently 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). This is particularly relevant if people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Looks like a hearing test is needed.
Sign #4: It sounds like everybody’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, because they go pretty well together. You should know that people probably aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it seem that way. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it might be a relief to find out they’re actually not. Instead, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be especially noticeable if you’re attempting to listen to somebody 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 encourage you to take a hearing assessment (or get hearing aids)
Your family and friends probably know you pretty well. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. If your family members (especially younger) are telling you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a good idea to listen to them (no pun intended).
It’s understandable that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Perhaps you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But taking their advice could preserve the health of your hearing.
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 severe for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can trigger both: Damage causes both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more noticeable: In your typical day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you experience. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and substantially more noticeable.
Either way, if you’re going through 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 need to come see us for an exam.
Sign #7: You feel tired after social interactions
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have become completely exhausting. Or maybe, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it once was.
When you leave a restaurant or a social event feeling utterly exhausted, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the reason why. Your brain is attempting to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So you may experience even more fatigue when you’re in an especially noisy setting.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
Honestly, hearing damage is common to everybody to some degree. If or when you develop hearing loss has a lot to do with 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. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! The sooner your hearing loss is identified, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment.