Bananas taste a lot different then they did in the past. There are very different types of bananas being cultivated today by banana farmers. Today’s banana can grow successfully in a wide variety of climates, are more robust, and can develop faster. And they taste very different. So how did this swap happen without us detecting it? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
The same thing can occur with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like you wake up one day and can’t hear a thing. For most individuals, hearing loss progresses slowly, frequently so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.
Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. You can take measures to safeguard your hearing if you recognize that it’s in danger. So it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.
7 signs you should get a hearing test
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it develops gradually over time. It isn’t like you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself completely unable to hear. Repeated exposure to loud sound over a long period of time gradually results in noticeable hearing loss. The earlier you treat your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to a greater danger of problems like dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it’s not something you want to mess around with.
These seven signs are what you should be watching out for. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing test, but these indicators might encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You’re continually cranking the volume up
Do you find yourself frequently reaching for the volume controls? Sure, maybe it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, or that the sound mixing on TV shows is dramatically different than it used to be. 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 regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can usually recognize hearing problems in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re continuously missing some day to day sounds, that could be an indication of issues with your ears. A few of the most common sounds you might miss include:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your good friend unexpectedly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you simply missed it.
- Timers and alarms: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than 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 afraid to drive with you.
Sign #3: You’re constantly asking people to repeat what they said
Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re always asking people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it’s not because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is especially relevant if people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear what they’re saying. Most likely, time to schedule a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: It sounds like everybody’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, because they go rather well together. If it sounds as if everybody around you is continuously mumbling or saying something under their breath, the truth is… well, they probably aren’t. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it might be a comfort to learn they’re actually not. The truth is that you’re just not hearing them because of your loss of hearing.
This can be particularly pronounced if you’re trying to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a noisy space, such as a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep recommending you have your hearing tested
Your friends and family probably know you pretty well. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. If your family members (especially younger) are informing you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a smart idea to listen to them (no pun intended).
We get that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this advice away. Maybe you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could give your hearing an advantage 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 incredibly common. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you’re dealing with hearing loss:
- Damage can cause both: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be brought on by damage. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more pronounced: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your daily life. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (as a result of hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes relatively louder and considerably more noticeable.
In either case, if you’re noticing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is going on in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling fatigued
Perhaps the reason why social situations have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you once did.
When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling completely depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the reason why. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain tries really hard to fill in those holes. 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 encounter some hearing damage in our lifetimes. Just how much (and how frequently you were wearing hearing protection) may have a huge impact 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 get diagnosed.