Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. There are rather different types of bananas being cultivated nowadays by banana farmers. These new bananas grow faster, are more robust, 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 swap? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. You never noticed the gradual change.
Hearing loss can happen in the same way. It’s not like suddenly your hearing is completely gone. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes unnoticed because it develops so slowly.
That’s unfortunate because early treatment can help maintain your hearing. If you are aware that your hearing is in danger, for example, you may take more safeguards to protect it. So it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.
7 indications you should get a hearing test
Hearing loss happens gradually and over time, but it’s not always well grasped. It isn’t as if you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself completely unable to hear. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to protect it. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to a greater danger of problems like dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it’s not something you want to mess about with.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven indications that you might be experiencing hearing loss. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing exam, but these signs might encourage you to schedule an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You’re continually cranking up the volume
Are you continually turning 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 audio 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.
If others keep telling you the TV is too high this is particularly likely. They can often notice hearing problems in you sooner than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing problems if you are constantly missing day to day sounds. Here are a few common sounds you might be missing:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: When your best friend abruptly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you just missed it.
- Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? Nobody makes phone calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
You’re missing essential 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 asking people to repeat what they said
Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re constantly asking people to repeat what they said, it’s very, very possible it isn’t because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is particularly relevant if people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Definitely, time to schedule a hearing test.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. You should recognize that people probably aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it seem that way. That may be a comfort (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 simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be especially pronounced if you’re trying to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you need to have a conversation in a loud space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to get a hearing test (or get hearing aids)
You probably have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty 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 give your hearing an advantage by taking 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’s really common. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become extreme for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can cause both: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by damage. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to develop both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is more obvious when you have hearing loss: In your normal day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you experience. But as those everyday noises fade to the background (as a result of hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and significantly more noticeable.
Either way, if you’re experiencing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is going on in your ears. And that means (no shock here), yes, you need to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social interactions
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have grown completely draining. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you used to.
Your hearing may be the reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. Your brain is attempting to fill in the holes that you can’t hear. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So when you’re in especially challenging situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more exhaustion.
Begin by coming to see us
The truth is that we all experience some hearing damage in our lifetimes. Exactly how much (and how often 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. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and call us for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you get diagnosed.