Bananas taste much different then they used to. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a very different variety of banana then they did in the past. These new bananas sprout faster, are more resilient, and can prosper in a wider range of climates. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you detected the great banana swap? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. You never noticed the gradual change.
The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. It’s not like all of a sudden your hearing is completely gone. For the majority of people, hearing loss progresses gradually, frequently so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s happening.
Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. If you are aware that your hearing is at risk, for instance, you might take more safeguards to protect it. So it’s a good plan to keep an eye out for these seven signs of waning hearing.
7 signs you should get a hearing assessment
Hearing loss isn’t always well understood as it happens slowly over time. It’s not as if you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself completely unable to hear. Repetitive exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually produces noticeable hearing loss. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to protect it. You shouldn’t put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been connected to problems like social isolation, depression, and dementia.
These seven signs are what you should be watching out for. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing test, but these indicators might encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you normally would have.
Sign #1: You’re constantly cranking the volume up
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 likely) 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 especially the situation if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often detect your hearing loss before you become aware of it.
Sign #2: You didn’t hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing trouble if you are constantly missing day to day sounds. Here are some common sounds you could be missing:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your best friend abruptly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you simply missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is too quiet.
- Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? No one makes phone calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.
If your loved ones have pointed out that they’re a little 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 a sign that it’s time for a hearing test.
Sign #3: You keep needing people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most commonly used words? If you’re regularly needing people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it isn’t because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is particularly true if people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear what they’re saying. Probably, time to schedule a hearing test.
Sign #4: It sounds like everyone’s always mumbling
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 feel like this. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it may be a relief to learn they’re actually not. Instead, it’s more likely that you’re just having a hard 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 recommending you have your hearing checked
Your friends and family most likely know you quite well. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. If your family members (particularly younger) are informing you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a smart idea to listen to them (no pun intended).
It’s easy to understand that you would want to rationalize away this advice. Maybe you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could give your hearing an advantage by heeding their advice.
Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)
Ringing in your ears is a condition known as tinnitus. It isn’t at all uncommon. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can trigger both: Damage causes both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So you’re more likely to develop tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more pronounced: In your typical day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you experience. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
Either way, if you’re experiencing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be an indication 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 depleted
Maybe the reason why social interactions 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 utterly depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) could be the cause. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain tries overtime to fill in those gaps. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So when you’re in particularly challenging situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more exhaustion.
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 subjected to loud noise.
So it may be an indication that the banana is changing if you encounter any of these signs. 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 get treatment.