Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow a very different variety of banana then they did in the past. These new bananas grow faster, are more resilient, and can thrive in a wider range of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this swap occur without us noticing? Well, the change wasn’t a quick one. You never noticed the gradual switch.
The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like suddenly your hearing is completely gone. For the majority of people, hearing loss advances slowly, frequently so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s happening.
Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s a regrettable truth. You can take steps to protect your hearing if you recognize that it’s at risk. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.
7 indications you should get a hearing test
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it happens slowly over time. It isn’t like you’ll be totally unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock show. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) builds up over time. The earlier you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You don’t want to put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been connected to problems such as social separation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven signs that you might be developing hearing loss. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing test, but these signs may encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You keep cranking up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself constantly reaching for the volume controls? Maybe they’re mixing the sound on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have begun to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not likely) that you’re hearing is slowly degrading, and that you’re increasing the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
If others keep telling you the volume is too loud this is especially likely. They will frequently notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear your phone ringing (or the doorbell)
It could be a sign that you’re having hearing trouble if you are constantly missing day to day sounds. A few of the most ordinary sounds you might miss include:
- Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): When your best friend abruptly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did in fact knock, you just missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get burned? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Are you missing text messages? Nobody calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
If your family and friends have stated that they’re a little scared of driving with you because you miss so many everyday 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 keep asking people to repeat what they said
Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re always asking people to repeat what they said, it’s very, very possible it’s not because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is particularly true if people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Probably, time to get a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everybody’s always mumbling
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. 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 that way. That might be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling things about you). Instead, it’s more likely that you’re just having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be especially noticeable if you’re attempting to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you need to have a conversation in a noisy space, like a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members encourage you to get a hearing assessment (or get hearing aids)
You most likely have a pretty close relationship with your family and friends. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. If your family members (particularly younger) are telling you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a smart plan to listen to them (no pun intended).
We get that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this recommendation away. Maybe you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But heeding their advice could preserve the health of your hearing.
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 uncommon. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can cause both: Damage causes both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more pronounced: 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 relatively louder and considerably more noticeable.
It could be an indication that you’re dealing with problems with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance problems and vertigo. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you should come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel exhausted after social interactions
Maybe the reason why social situations have become so tiring 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.
When you leave a restaurant or a social event feeling completely depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) could be the cause. Your brain is trying to fill in the holes that you can’t hear. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So you might experience even more fatigue when you’re in an especially noisy setting.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage during our lives. Exactly how much (and how frequently you were wearing hearing protection) might have a big affect 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 experience any of these signs. 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.