Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are extremely different varieties of bananas being grown these days by banana farmers. These new bananas sprout faster, are more resilient, and can thrive in a wider range of climates. And they taste very different. So how did this change happen without us noticing? Well, the truth is that it developed slowly, over time. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
The same thing can happen 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 undetected because it advances so slowly.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. You can take steps to safeguard your hearing if you’re aware that it’s in danger. That’s why it might be worthwhile to watch for these seven indications your hearing might be waning.
7 signs you should get a hearing exam
Hearing loss develops slowly and over time, but it isn’t always well understood. It’s not like you’ll be totally unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock concert. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. You don’t want to put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been linked to issues such as social isolation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven indications that you may be developing hearing loss. A hearing exam is the only way to be sure, but perhaps these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Are you constantly turning up the volume on your devices? Maybe they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have started to mumble. 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 volume is too loud this is particularly likely. They can often recognize hearing trouble in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re continually missing some day to day sounds, that might be a sign of trouble with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you may be missing:
- Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): When your good friend abruptly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you simply missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get overcooked? It may not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since no one makes calls nowadays.
You’re missing crucial sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your friends and family are becoming scared to drive with you.
Sign #3: You keep asking people to repeat what they said
Are your most frequently 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 what they said when they’re talking with you. If people do repeat what they said and you still fail to hear them this is particularly true. Seems like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: It sounds like everybody’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, because they go pretty well together. If it sounds as if everybody around you is continuously mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they probably aren’t. That might be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). Instead, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be particularly noticeable if you’re trying to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a loud space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep recommending you get your hearing checked
Your family and friends most likely know you quite well. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. It’s a good idea to listen to your family members (particularly the younger ones) if they are telling you something’s up with your hearing.
We get that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this advice away. Maybe you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could do your hearing a favor by taking their advice.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
Ringing in your ears is a condition known as tinnitus. It’s not at all unusual. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you’re dealing with hearing loss:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Damage causes both tinnitus and hearing loss. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to develop both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is more pronounced when you have hearing loss: In your typical day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you experience. But as those everyday noises fade to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and significantly more noticeable.
It could be an indication that you’re dealing with 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: Socializing leaves you feeling exhausted
Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social interactions have grown totally exhausting. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you once did.
Your hearing might be the reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain tries really hard to fill in those gaps. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So when you’re in especially strenuous situations (like a noisy space), you may experience even more fatigue.
Start by coming to see us
The truth is that we all experience some hearing damage during our lives. If or when you develop hearing loss has a lot to do with how well you safeguard your ears when you’re subjected to loud noise.
So if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Luckily, 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.