Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are very different types of bananas being grown nowadays by banana farmers. These new bananas sprout faster, are more robust, and can prosper in a wider range of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this swap happen without us noticing? Well, the change wasn’t a quick one. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
Hearing loss can happen in the same way. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear a thing. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes unobserved because it advances so slowly.
That’s regrettable because early intervention can help maintain your hearing. If you know that your hearing is in danger, for example, you may take more precautions to protect it. So it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.
7 signs you should get a hearing test
Hearing loss isn’t always thoroughly grasped as it develops slowly over time. It isn’t as if you’ll be completely incapable of hearing the day after you went to that big rock show. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) builds up over time. The sooner you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to a greater risk of problems such as dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it’s not something you want to mess about with.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven indications that you may be experiencing hearing loss. A hearing test is the only way to be sure, but perhaps these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You’re continuously turning the volume up
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 turning the volume up on your devices.
This is especially the situation if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can often notice hearing issues in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re frequently missing some day to day sounds, that may be a sign of trouble with your ears. Here are some common sounds you could be missing:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: When your good friend unexpectedly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did in fact knock, you just missed it.
- Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? No one makes phone calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
You’re missing crucial 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
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently 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. Most likely, time to schedule a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everybody’s always mumbling
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. If it sounds as if everybody around you is continuously mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they probably aren’t. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it may be a comfort to learn they’re actually not. Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re just having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be particularly 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 noisy space, like a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep recommending you get your hearing tested
You most likely have a rather close relationship with your friends and family. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. It’s a good plan to listen to your family members (particularly the younger ones) if they are telling you something is going on with your hearing.
We get 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 you could give your hearing an advantage by heeding 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 not at all uncommon. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become extreme for a couple of reasons:
- Both can be caused by damage: 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.
- Tinnitus is more pronounced when you have hearing loss: In your normal day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you experience. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and considerably more noticeable.
Either way, if you’re experiencing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be an indication that something is happening in your ears. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you should come see us for an exam.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling exhausted
Maybe the reason why social situations have become so exhausting is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or maybe, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it once was.
Your hearing could be the cause when 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), particularly over the long run. So when you’re in especially strenuous situations (such as a noisy space), you might experience even more exhaustion.
Start by coming to see us
Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some level. 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. Happily, 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 are diagnosed.