Bananas taste much different then they used to. There are extremely different types of bananas being grown these days by banana farmers. These new bananas develop 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 change wasn’t a rapid one. You never noticed the gradual change.
The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like all of a sudden your hearing is entirely gone. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes unobserved because it develops so slowly.
That’s unfortunate because early intervention can help maintain your hearing. You can take measures to safeguard your hearing if you recognize that it’s at risk. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.
You should get your hearing evaluated if you notice any of these 7 indicators
Hearing loss isn’t always well understood as it develops slowly over time. It’s not as if you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself completely unable to hear. Repetitive exposure to loud noise over a long period of time slowly leads to recognizable hearing loss. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. You don’t want to put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been linked to issues like social separation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven signs that you might be experiencing hearing loss. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing assessment, but these signs 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? Maybe they’re mixing the sound on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have begun to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not probable) that you’re hearing is slowly degrading, and that you’re increasing the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
This is particularly the case if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often observe your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re continuously missing some everyday sounds, that might be a sign of issues with your ears. Some of the most ordinary noises you might miss include:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: You thought your friend just walked into your house but actually missed him knocking.
- Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get burned? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Are you missing text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since nobody makes calls nowadays.
If your loved ones have stated that they’re a little scared of driving with you because you’re missing so many common sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be an indication that it’s time for a hearing exam.
Sign #3: You’re constantly asking people to repeat themselves
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most regularly used words? If you’re always asking people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it isn’t because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). If people do repeat what they said and you still can’t hear them this is especially relevant. Looks like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
This one goes fairly 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 feel that way. That may be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling things about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be particularly noticeable if you’re trying to listen to someone 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 get hearing aids)
You probably have a pretty 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 (particularly younger) are informing you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a smart plan to listen to them (no pun intended).
We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this recommendation away. Perhaps you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But heeding their advice could protect 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 very common. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become extreme for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can trigger 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 noticeable when you have hearing loss: In your typical day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you encounter. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
It could be an indication that you’re dealing with problems with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance issues and vertigo. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you need to come see us for an exam.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling fatigued
Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social settings have become completely draining. Or it may 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. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain works really hard to fill in those gaps. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So you might experience even more exhaustion 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 level. If or when you develop hearing loss has a lot to do with how well you safeguard your ears when you’re subjected to loud sound.
So it may be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and give us a call for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you get diagnosed.