Bananas taste a lot different then they used to. There are rather different types of bananas being grown nowadays by banana farmers. Today’s banana can grow easily in a large number of climates, are more resilient, and can sprout faster. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you detected the great banana exchange? Well, the reality is that it developed slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual switch.
Hearing loss can occur in a similar way. It isn’t like suddenly your hearing is totally gone. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes unobserved because it develops so slowly.
Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s a regrettable truth. You can take measures to safeguard your hearing if you recognize that it’s in danger. So it’s a good plan to keep an eye out for these seven signs of waning hearing.
7 indications you should get a hearing assessment
Hearing loss develops slowly and over time, but it’s not always well understood. It isn’t 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) builds up over time. The earlier you treat your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to an increased risk of issues like dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it isn’t something you want to mess about with.
These seven signs are what you should be paying attention to out for. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing test, but these signs might encourage you to schedule an appointment earlier than you normally 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 started to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not likely) that you’re hearing is gradually going, and that you’re raising the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
This is especially the case if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can usually spot hearing problems in you sooner than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re regularly missing some everyday sounds, that might be a sign of trouble with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you might be missing:
- Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but you in fact missed him knocking.
- Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get overcooked? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? Nobody calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
If your family and friends have mentioned that they’re kind of afraid of driving with you because you miss so many common 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 needing 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 don’t hear them this is particularly true. Seems like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. If it sounds as if everybody around you is constantly mumbling or talking under their breath, the truth is… well, they likely aren’t. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it may be a comfort to learn they’re actually not. The truth is that you’re simply not hearing them because of your loss of hearing.
If you’re trying to talk to somebody in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be particularly true.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to get a hearing assessment (or invest in hearing aids)
You most likely have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. 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.
It’s understandable that you would want to rationalize away this advice. Maybe you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But heeding their advice could maintain the health of your hearing.
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 very common. There are a couple of reasons why you may experience more ringing in your ears when you’re dealing with hearing loss:
- Both can be caused by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be brought on by damage. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- 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 (as a result of hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes relatively louder and significantly more noticeable.
It could be a sign 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 engagement
Perhaps the reason why social situations have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. 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 works overtime to fill in those gaps. 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 might experience even more fatigue.
Begin by coming to see us
The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage during our lives. Exactly how much (and how often you were using hearing protection) might have a huge affect on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss in the first place.
So it may 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.