Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are rather different varieties of bananas being cultivated these days by banana farmers. Today’s banana can develop easily in a wide variety of climates, are more resilient, and can sprout faster. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this swap happen without us detecting it? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. You never noticed the gradual switch.
The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. It’s not like suddenly your hearing is completely gone. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes unnoticed because it progresses 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 may take more precautions to protect it. That’s why it may be worthwhile to watch for these seven signs your hearing might be waning.
7 signs you should get a hearing exam
Hearing loss occurs slowly and over time, but it isn’t always well grasped. It’s not as if you’ll be totally unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock show. Repetitive exposure to loud sound over a long period of time gradually results in recognizable hearing loss. The earlier you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to an increased danger of problems such as dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it’s not something you should mess around with.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven signs that you may be developing hearing loss. A hearing test is the only way to be sure, but perhaps these warning signs will prompt you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have begun 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.
This is especially the situation if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will frequently observe your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re constantly missing some day to day sounds, that might be a sign of issues with your ears. Some of the most ordinary sounds you might miss include:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your good friend unexpectedly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you simply missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It may not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? No one makes phone calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
You’re missing crucial sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your friends and family are becoming scared to drive with you.
Sign #3: You keep needing people to repeat what they said
Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? 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). If people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear them this is particularly true. Probably, time to get a hearing exam.
Sign #4: It sounds like everybody’s always mumbling
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. If it sounds like everyone around you is constantly mumbling or talking under their breath, the truth is… well, they probably aren’t. That may be a relief (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 just having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
If you’re trying to talk to someone in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be particularly relevant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep suggesting you get your hearing checked
Your family and friends probably know you pretty well. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. If your members of your family (particularly younger) are informing 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 recommendation away. Perhaps you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could do your hearing a favor by taking their advice.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance issues
Ringing in your ears is a condition called tinnitus. It isn’t at all uncommon. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be brought on by damage. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to experience both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is more noticeable 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.
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 a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel tired after social interactions
Maybe the reason why social situations have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you once did.
Your hearing could be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain tries really hard to fill in those gaps. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So when you’re in especially strenuous situations (like a noisy space), you may experience even more exhaustion.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
The truth is that we all experience some hearing damage in our lifetimes. If or when you develop hearing loss has a lot to do with how well you protect your ears when you’re subjected to loud sound.
So it might 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.