Bananas taste much different then they used to. There are very different varieties of bananas being grown nowadays by banana farmers. Today’s banana can grow easily in a wide variety of climates, are more robust, and can grow faster. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana swap? Well, the change wasn’t a quick one. You never noticed the gradual change.
The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. 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 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 instance, you may take more precautions to protect it. So it’s a good plan to keep an eye out for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.
7 signs you should get a hearing test
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it happens gradually over time. It isn’t as if you’ll be completely incapable of hearing the day after you went to that big rock concert. Repeated exposure to loud noise over a long period of time slowly results in recognizable hearing loss. The earlier 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 like social separation, depression, and dementia.
These seven signs are what you should be paying attention to out for. 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 keep cranking up the volume on your devices
Are you continually cranking up the volume on your devices? Maybe they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have begun 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 particularly the case if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can usually recognize hearing problems in you sooner than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re constantly missing some day to day sounds, that may be a sign of issues with your ears. A few of the most common noises you might miss include:
- Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but actually missed him knocking.
- Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since no one makes calls these days.
If your family and friends have pointed out that they’re kind of scared of driving with you because you miss 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
Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? It’s likely that it’s an issue with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat themselves when they talk to you. If people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear them this is particularly relevant. Probably, time to schedule a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. You should realize that people most likely aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it feel like this. That may be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling stuff about you). The truth is that you’re just not hearing them because of 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
Your family and friends most likely know you quite well. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. It’s a smart idea to listen to your family members (particularly the younger ones) if they are telling you something is going on with your hearing.
It’s easy to understand that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. 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: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s extremely common. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can cause both: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by damage. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more obvious: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your day-to-day life. But as those everyday noises fade to the background (as a result of hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and considerably more noticeable.
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. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.
Sign #7: You feel tired after social engagement
Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social settings have become totally exhausting. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you used to.
When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling utterly depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the reason why. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain works really hard to fill in those gaps. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So you may experience even more fatigue when you’re in an especially noisy setting.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some level. Exactly how much (and how frequently you were wearing hearing protection) might have a huge impact on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss in the first place.
So it might be an indication that the banana is changing if you encounter any of these signs. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.