Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are very different types of bananas being grown nowadays by banana farmers. Today’s banana can develop easily in a wide variety of climates, are more resilient, and can develop faster. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this change occur without us noticing? Well, the change wasn’t a quick one. You never noticed the gradual switch.
The same thing can occur with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like you wake up one day and can’t hear anything. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes unnoticed because it develops so slowly.
That’s unfortunate because early intervention can help maintain your hearing. You can take measures to protect your hearing if you’re aware that it’s at risk. That’s why it may be significant to watch for these seven indications your hearing might be waning.
7 indications you should get a hearing exam
Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it happens slowly over time. It’s not as if you’ll be totally incapable of hearing the day after you went to that big rock show. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. The earlier you treat your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You don’t want to put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been connected to issues such as social isolation, depression, and dementia.
These seven signs are what you should be watching out for. A hearing test is the only way to be sure, but perhaps these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Do you find yourself constantly reaching for the volume controls? Sure, maybe it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, or that the audio mixing on TV shows is dramatically different than it was before. But it’s also possible (if not probable) that you’re hearing is slowly going, and that you’re raising the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
If others keep telling you the volume is too high this is especially likely. They can often spot hearing issues in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
It could be a sign that you’re having hearing trouble if you are constantly missing everyday sounds. A few of the most common sounds you may miss include:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your good friend abruptly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did actually knock, you simply missed it.
- Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get overcooked? It may not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Are you missing text messages? No one calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
If your loved ones have mentioned that they’re a little afraid of driving with you because you’re missing so many everyday sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck backing up), that could be an indication that it’s time for a hearing test.
Sign #3: You keep asking 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 talk to you. If people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear them this is especially relevant. Looks like a hearing test is in order.
Sign #4: It sounds like everyone’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 constantly mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they likely aren’t. That may be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling stuff about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re just having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be especially noticeable 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: Family members encourage you to get a hearing assessment (or get hearing aids)
You probably have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. If your family members (especially younger) are informing you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a smart plan to listen to them (no pun intended).
We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this recommendation away. Perhaps 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)
When you’re experiencing ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition known as tinnitus. It’s really common. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Both can be caused by damage: Damage causes both tinnitus and hearing loss. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to experience both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is more pronounced when you have hearing loss: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you encounter. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
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 shock here), yes, you should come see us for an exam.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling fatigued
Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have become completely exhausting. Or maybe, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it used to be.
When you leave a restaurant or a social event feeling utterly exhausted, your hearing (or lack thereof) might be the reason why. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain tries overtime to fill in those gaps. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. 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 degree. If or when you develop hearing loss has a lot to do with how well you protect your ears when you’re exposed to loud noise.
So if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! The sooner your hearing loss is identified, the sooner you’ll be able to receive treatment.