Bananas taste much different then they used to. There are very different varieties of bananas being grown these days by banana farmers. These new bananas develop faster, are more robust, and can thrive in a wider range of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana swap? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, over time. You never noticed the gradual switch.
The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like you get up one day and can’t hear a thing. For most individuals, hearing loss advances gradually, frequently so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s taking place.
That’s unfortunate because early treatment can help preserve your hearing. You can take steps to protect your hearing if you recognize that it’s at risk. So it’s a good plan to be on the lookout for these seven signs of waning hearing.
7 signs you should get a hearing assessment
Hearing loss isn’t always thoroughly understood as it develops slowly over time. It’s not as if you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely incapable of hearing. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. The sooner you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You don’t want to put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been linked to issues like social isolation, depression, and dementia.
These seven indicators are what you should be paying attention to out for. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing assessment, but these signs may encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you normally would have.
Sign #1: You keep cranking up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Perhaps they’re mixing the sound on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists 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.
This is especially the situation if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
It could be a sign that you’re having hearing trouble if you are constantly missing everyday sounds. Here are some 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 his knocks.
- Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get overcooked? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? Nobody makes phone calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
If your family and friends have mentioned that they’re a little afraid of driving with you because you’re missing so many common sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck backing up), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing test.
Sign #3: You’re always needing people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most commonly used words? It’s likely that it’s an issue with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat what they said when they’re talking with you. If people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear them this is particularly relevant. Most likely, time to schedule a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
You could also call this sign #3-A, because they go pretty well together. You should recognize that people probably aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it seem like this. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it might be a comfort to learn they’re actually not. The truth is that you’re simply not hearing them due to your hearing loss.
This can be particularly noticeable if you’re trying to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a noisy space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep suggesting you have your hearing checked
Your friends and family most likely know you quite well. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. If your members of your family (particularly younger) are telling you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a good plan to listen to them (no pun intended).
We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this advice away. Possibly you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But you could give your hearing an advantage 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’s not at all unusual. There are a couple of reasons why you may experience more ringing in your ears when you’re dealing with hearing loss:
- Both can be caused by damage: 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 suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is more pronounced when you have hearing loss: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you experience. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
It could be an indication that you’re experiencing issues 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 should come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel tired after social interactions
Perhaps the reason why social interactions have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you once did.
When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling utterly drained, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the reason why. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain works really hard to fill in those holes. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So you may experience even more fatigue 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 degree. Just how much (and how often you were wearing hearing protection) might have a big impact 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. Happily, you can take matters into your own hands and contact us for an appointment. The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment.