Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are very different varieties of bananas being cultivated these days by banana farmers. These new bananas sprout faster, are more robust, and can thrive in a wider range of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana swap? Well, the reality is that it happened slowly, over time. The change was so slow you never noticed.
The same thing can occur with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like all of a sudden your hearing is completely gone. For the majority of individuals, hearing loss advances slowly, frequently so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s happening.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s a regrettable truth. You can take steps to protect your hearing if you’re aware 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 exam
Hearing loss develops gradually and over time, but it’s not always well grasped. It’s not as if you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself totally unable to hear. Repeated exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually leads to noticeable hearing loss. The sooner you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You shouldn’t put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been linked to problems like social separation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven indications that you might be developing hearing loss. A hearing exam is the only way to be sure, but maybe these warning signs will prompt you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Maybe they’re mixing the sound on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have begun to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not probable) that you’re hearing is gradually going, and that you’re increasing the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
This is particularly the situation if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can usually notice hearing trouble in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re continually missing some everyday sounds, that could be an indication of trouble with your ears. Here are some common sounds you could be missing:
- Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): When your best friend abruptly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did actually knock, you simply missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since nobody makes calls these days.
If your loved ones have stated that they’re kind of scared of driving with you because you miss so many day to day 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 keep asking people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently used words? If you’re regularly needing people to repeat what they said, it’s very, very possible it isn’t because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). If people do repeat themselves and you still fail to hear them this is particularly relevant. Most likely, time to get a hearing assessment.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everybody’s always mumbling
This one goes pretty well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. If it sounds like everyone around you is continuously mumbling or talking under their breath, the truth is… well, they likely aren’t. That might be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling things about you). The truth is that you’re simply not hearing them because of your loss of hearing.
This can be particularly pronounced if you’re attempting to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a loud space, like a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep recommending you get your hearing checked
You probably have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. It’s a good idea 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. Possibly you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But you could do your hearing a favor by heeding their advice.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance issues
Ringing in your ears is a condition called tinnitus. It isn’t at all uncommon. 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 triggered by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of damage. 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: 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.
Either way, if you’re experiencing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be an indication that something is happening in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling fatigued
Maybe the reason why social interactions have become so exhausting 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 used to be.
Your hearing may be the reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. Your brain is attempting to fill in the holes that you can’t hear. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So you might experience even more fatigue 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. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you protect your ears when you’re exposed to loud noise.
So it might 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 contact us for an appointment. The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to receive treatment.