Bananas taste much different then they used to. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow an exceptionally different type of banana then they used to. These new bananas sprout faster, are more robust, and can prosper in a wider variety of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this swap occur without us noticing? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, over time. You never noticed the gradual switch.
The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like all of a sudden your hearing is completely gone. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it develops so slowly.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s a regrettable truth. You can take steps to safeguard your hearing if you’re aware that it’s at risk. So it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.
You should have your hearing evaluated if you exhibit any of these 7 signs
Hearing loss isn’t always thoroughly understood as it develops gradually over time. It isn’t as if you’ll be totally unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock concert. Recurring exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually leads to noticeable hearing loss. The sooner you treat 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 such as social separation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven indications 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
Are you continually turning up the volume on your devices? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio 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.
If others keep telling you the volume is too high this is especially likely. They will frequently observe your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re continually missing some day to day sounds, that may be an indication of issues with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you might be missing:
- Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): When your good friend unexpectedly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did in fact knock, you just missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? 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? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since nobody makes calls nowadays.
You’re missing important sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your family and friends are becoming scared to drive with you.
Sign #3: You’re continuously asking people to repeat what they said
Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? It’s likely that it’s a problem with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat themselves when they talk to you. If people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear them this is especially relevant. Definitely, time to get a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. You should realize that people probably aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it feel that way. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it may be a relief to find out they’re actually not. The reality is that you’re just not hearing them due to your loss of hearing.
If you’re attempting 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 recommending you have your hearing checked
You probably have a pretty close relationship with your family and friends. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. If your members of your family (especially younger) are telling you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a smart idea to listen to them (no pun intended).
It’s easy to understand that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Maybe you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could give your hearing an advantage by taking their advice.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance problems
When you’re experiencing ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition known as tinnitus. It’s not at all uncommon. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Damage can trigger both: Damage causes both tinnitus and hearing loss. So you’re more likely to develop tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more pronounced: In your normal day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you encounter. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes relatively louder and substantially more noticeable.
In either case, if you’re experiencing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is going on in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted
Perhaps the reason why social situations have become so exhausting 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 once was.
Your hearing might be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. Your brain is trying to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So when you’re in particularly strenuous situations (like a noisy space), you might experience even more exhaustion.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some degree. If or when you develop hearing loss has a lot to do with how well you protect your ears when you’re exposed 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 call us for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.