Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. That’s because modern banana farmers grow an exceptionally different type of banana then they did in the past. These new bananas grow faster, are more robust, and can prosper in a wider variety of climates. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you detected the great banana exchange? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. The change was so slow you never noticed.
Hearing loss can happen in a similar way. It isn’t like you get up one day and can’t hear a thing. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it develops so slowly.
That’s unfortunate because early intervention can help maintain your hearing. You can take measures to safeguard your hearing if you recognize that it’s in danger. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these seven signs of waning hearing.
7 signs you should get a hearing test
Hearing loss takes place gradually and over time, but it isn’t always well grasped. It isn’t as if you’ll be completely unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock concert. Recurring exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually leads to recognizable hearing loss. The earlier you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to an increased risk of problems including dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it isn’t something you should mess around with.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven signs that you might be developing hearing loss. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing assessment, but these indicators may 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 frequently reaching for the volume controls? Sure, maybe 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 also possible (if not likely) that you’re hearing is slowly 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 often recognize hearing issues in you sooner than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing problems if you are continuously missing day to day sounds. Some of the most ordinary sounds you might miss include:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: You thought your friend just walked into your house but actually missed him knocking.
- Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get overcooked? It might 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 nobody makes calls these days.
You’re missing important sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your friends and family are becoming afraid to drive with you.
Sign #3: You’re continuously asking people to repeat themselves
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently used words? 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 can’t hear them this is especially relevant. 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 saying something under their breath, the reality is… well, they probably aren’t. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it may be a relief to find out they’re actually not. Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
If you’re attempting to talk to somebody in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be especially relevant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep recommending you get your hearing tested
You most likely have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. It’s a good plan 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. Perhaps 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)
When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition known as tinnitus. It’s not at all uncommon. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become severe for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can cause both: Damage causes both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to experience both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more noticeable: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you encounter. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (as a result of hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes relatively louder and substantially more noticeable.
Either way, if you’re noticing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is going on in your ears. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you need to come see us for an exam.
Sign #7: You feel tired after social interactions
Perhaps the reason why social interactions have become so exhausting 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 could be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. Your brain is attempting 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 exhaustion when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
Honestly, hearing damage is common to everybody to some level. Exactly how much (and how frequently you were using hearing protection) may have a huge affect on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss in the first place.
So if you’ve encountered 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 get diagnosed.