Bananas taste a lot different then they used to. There are rather different varieties of bananas being grown these days by banana farmers. Today’s banana can develop easily 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 reality is that it happened slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual switch.
Hearing loss can occur in a similar way. It’s not like all of a sudden your hearing is entirely gone. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it develops so slowly.
Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. If you are aware that your hearing is at risk, for example, you might take more precautions to protect it. That’s why it might be significant to watch for these seven signs your hearing might be waning.
7 signs you should get a hearing assessment
Hearing loss occurs gradually and over time, but it isn’t always well grasped. It’s not as if you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself totally unable to hear. Recurring exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually produces noticeable hearing loss. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to an increased risk of problems like dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it’s not something you want to mess about with.
These seven signs are what you should be paying attention to out for. A hearing exam is the only way to know, but maybe these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You’re continually turning up the volume
Do you find yourself constantly reaching for the volume controls? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have begun to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not likely) that you’re hearing is slowly going, and that you’re increasing 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 will frequently detect your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re constantly missing some day to day sounds, that could be an indication of trouble with your ears. A few of the most ordinary sounds you may miss include:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but you in fact missed his knocks.
- Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get burned? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Are you missing text messages? No one 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 keep needing people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most commonly used words? If you’re constantly needing 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). If people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear them this is particularly true. Looks like a hearing test is needed.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everyone’s always mumbling
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. If it sounds like everyone around you is continuously mumbling or talking under their breath, the truth is… well, they likely aren’t. That might be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling stuff about you). Alternatively, 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 have to have a conversation in a loud space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members encourage you to take a hearing assessment (or invest in hearing aids)
You probably have a rather close relationship with your family and friends. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. If your members of your family (especially younger) are telling you that something isn’t right 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 recommendation away. Possibly you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But taking their advice could maintain 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 really common. There are a couple of reasons why you may experience more ringing in your ears when you’re dealing with hearing loss:
- Damage can cause both: 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.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more noticeable: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you encounter. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
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. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social engagement
Perhaps the reason why social interactions have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or perhaps, 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 affair feeling totally drained, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the cause. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain works really hard to fill in those gaps. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So when you’re in particularly strenuous 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 in our lifetimes. Just 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 at all.
So it might be an indication that the banana is changing if you encounter any of these signs. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.