Bananas taste much different then they used to. There are extremely different types of bananas being cultivated today by banana farmers. Today’s banana can develop successfully in a wide variety of climates, are more robust, and can grow faster. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you detected the great banana exchange? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. The change was so slow you never noticed.
The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear anything. For most people, hearing loss progresses slowly, frequently so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s taking place.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. If you know that your hearing is at risk, for instance, you may take more precautions to protect it. That’s why it might be significant to watch for these seven signs your hearing could be waning.
7 indications you should get a hearing exam
Hearing loss develops gradually and over time, but it isn’t always well grasped. It isn’t like you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely incapable of hearing. Repeated exposure to loud noise over a long period of time slowly leads to recognizable hearing loss. The sooner you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You shouldn’t put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been linked to problems such as social isolation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven signs that you might be developing hearing loss. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing assessment, but these indicators might encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You keep cranking up the volume on your devices
Are you constantly cranking up the volume on your devices? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have started to mumble. 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 will frequently notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re regularly missing some everyday sounds, that could be an indication of trouble with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you could be missing:
- Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but actually missed him knocking.
- 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: Are you failing to get text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since no one makes calls these days.
You’re missing essential sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your family and friends are becoming scared to drive with you.
Sign #3: You’re always needing people to repeat themselves
Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? It’s likely that it’s a problem with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat themselves when they’re talking with you. This is especially true if people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Looks like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go rather well together. If it sounds like everyone around you is continuously mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they likely aren’t. That might be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be particularly 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, like a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep recommending you have your hearing checked
Your family and friends probably know you pretty well. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. If your family members (especially younger) are telling you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a good plan to listen to them (no pun intended).
We get that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this advice away. Maybe you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But heeding their advice could preserve the health of your hearing.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance problems
When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition known as tinnitus. It’s very common. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can cause both: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of damage. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to develop both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is more pronounced when you have hearing loss: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your day-to-day life. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
Either way, if you’re experiencing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be an indication that something is going on in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.
Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social interactions
Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have become completely draining. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you used to.
Your hearing could be the reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain tries overtime to fill in those gaps. 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 might experience even more fatigue.
The first step is calling us for an appointment
The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage during our lives. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you protect your ears when you’re exposed to loud sound.
So if you’ve encountered 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 evaluated! You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you get diagnosed.