Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a very different type of banana then they did in the past. Today’s banana can grow easily in a wide variety of climates, are more robust, and can sprout faster. And they taste very different. So how did this change occur without us noticing? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. You never noticed the gradual switch.
Hearing loss can happen in a similar way. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear a thing. For the majority of people, hearing loss progresses gradually, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s taking place.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. If you are aware that your hearing is in danger, for instance, you might 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 assessment
Hearing loss isn’t always thoroughly grasped as it develops slowly over time. It’s not like you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely incapable of hearing. Repetitive exposure to loud sound over a long period of time slowly results in noticeable hearing loss. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to a greater risk of problems like dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it isn’t something you should mess around with.
You should, uh, watch out 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 prompt you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You’re continually cranking up the volume
Are you constantly cranking 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 sound mixing on TV shows is drastically different than it was before. But it’s more likely that you’re compensating for your increasing hearing loss by turning the volume up on your devices.
If others keep telling you the TV is too loud this is particularly likely. They can often spot hearing trouble in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing problems if you are constantly missing everyday sounds. A few of the most common noises you might miss include:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your good friend abruptly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did in fact knock, you simply missed it.
- Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It may not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? Nobody makes phone calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.
If your loved ones have stated that they’re a little afraid of driving with you because you’re missing so many day to day sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be an indication that it’s time for a hearing assessment.
Sign #3: You’re continuously asking people to repeat themselves
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. This is particularly true if people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Seems like a hearing test is needed.
Sign #4: It sounds like everyone’s always mumbling
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. If it sounds like everyone around you is continuously mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they likely aren’t. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it may be a comfort to find out they’re actually not. The reality is that you’re just not hearing them due to your loss of hearing.
This can be especially 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: Family members prompt you to get a hearing test (or get hearing aids)
You probably have a pretty close relationship with your family and friends. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. It’s a smart plan to listen to your family members (particularly the younger ones) if they are telling you something’s up with your hearing.
It’s understandable that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Possibly you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But you could do your hearing a favor by taking their advice.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance issues
When you’re experiencing ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s not at all uncommon. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become severe for a couple of reasons:
- 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 suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more pronounced: In your normal 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.
Either way, if you’re going through loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be an indication that something is happening in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling fatigued
Maybe the reason why social situations have become so tiring 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 used to be.
Your hearing might be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain tries really hard to fill in those holes. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So when you’re in particularly challenging situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more fatigue.
The first step is calling us for an appointment
The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage in our lifetimes. If or when you develop hearing loss has a lot to do with how well you safeguard your ears when you’re exposed to loud noise.
So if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! The sooner your hearing loss is identified, the sooner you’ll be able to get treatment.