Bananas taste a lot different then they did in the past. There are extremely different types of bananas being cultivated these days by banana farmers. Today’s banana can grow easily in a wide variety of climates, are more resilient, and can develop faster. And they taste quite different. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana swap? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. You never noticed the gradual change.
The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like suddenly your hearing is completely gone. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes unnoticed because it progresses so slowly.
That’s unfortunate because early treatment can help maintain your hearing. You can take steps to protect 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 diminishing hearing.
7 signs you should get a hearing assessment
Hearing loss takes place slowly and over time, but it’s not always well grasped. It’s not like you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself totally unable to hear. Repeated exposure to loud noise over a long period of time slowly leads to noticeable hearing loss. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. You shouldn’t put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been connected to problems like social separation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven signs that you might be developing hearing loss. A hearing test is the only way to know, but maybe these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Are you continually cranking up the volume on your devices? Sure, possibly it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, or that the audio mixing on TV shows is drastically different than it used to be. 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 particularly the situation if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often notice your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
If you’re constantly missing some everyday sounds, that could be a sign of trouble with your ears. Some of the most common noises you might miss include:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: When your best friend suddenly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you just missed it.
- Timers and alarms: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It may not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? No one calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
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 keep needing people to repeat what they said
Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re always needing people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it’s not 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 especially true. Definitely, time to schedule a hearing test.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
This one goes fairly well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. You should recognize that people most likely aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it seem like this. That may be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). Instead, it’s more likely that you’re just having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
If you’re trying to talk to someone in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be particularly true.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep suggesting you get your hearing checked
Your family and friends probably know you quite well. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. It’s a smart plan to listen to your family members (especially the younger ones) if they are telling you something’s up with your hearing.
We get that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this advice away. Possibly you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But you could give your hearing an advantage by heeding 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 called tinnitus. It’s not at all unusual. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become severe for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can cause both: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of damage. So you’re more likely to develop tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Tinnitus is more noticeable when you have hearing loss: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your day-to-day life. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
Either way, if you’re going through loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is happening in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing test.
Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social interactions
Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have become completely draining. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you used to.
When you leave a restaurant or a social event feeling utterly exhausted, your hearing (or lack thereof) could be the reason why. 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 an especially noisy setting.
The first step is calling us for an appointment
Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some level. Exactly how much (and how often you were wearing 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 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 contact us for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.