Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. There are very different varieties of bananas being grown these days by banana farmers. Today’s banana can develop successfully in a large number of climates, are more robust, and can develop faster. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this change happen without us noticing? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. You never noticed the gradual change.
The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like you wake up one day and can’t hear anything. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes unnoticed because it progresses so slowly.
That’s regrettable because early intervention can help maintain your hearing. If you are aware that your hearing is in danger, for instance, you may take more safeguards to protect it. That’s why it might be worthwhile to watch for these seven signs your hearing could be waning.
7 signs you should get a hearing assessment
Hearing loss takes place slowly and over time, but it’s not always well grasped. It isn’t as if you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself completely unable to hear. Repeated exposure to loud noise over a long period of time slowly leads to recognizable hearing loss. The sooner you deal with 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 such as social isolation, depression, and dementia.
These seven signs are what you should be watching out for. 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’re continuously cranking the volume up
Do you find yourself frequently reaching for the volume controls? Maybe they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have started to mumble. 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 situation if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can often notice hearing trouble in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re constantly missing some everyday sounds, that might be a sign of issues with your ears. A few of the most common noises you might miss include:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but actually missed his knocks.
- Alarms and timers: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since nobody makes calls these days.
You’re missing crucial sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your family and friends 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?”? 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’re talking with you. If people do repeat what they said and you still fail to hear them this is particularly relevant. Seems like a hearing test is needed.
Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go rather well together. 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 that way. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it might be a comfort to learn they’re actually not. Instead, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
This can be particularly noticeable if you’re attempting to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a loud space, like a restaurant.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to take a hearing assessment (or get hearing aids)
Your friends and family most likely know you quite well. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. If your members of your family (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 understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this recommendation away. Maybe you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could do your hearing a favor 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 very common. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become extreme for a couple of reasons:
- Damage can trigger both: 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 develop both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- 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.
It could be an indication that you’re experiencing problems with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance problems and vertigo. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.
Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social interactions
Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have grown completely draining. 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 totally depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) could be the cause. Your brain is attempting to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So you might experience even more fatigue when you’re in an especially noisy setting.
Start by coming to see us
Honestly, hearing damage is common to everybody to some level. If or when you develop hearing loss has a lot to do with how well you safeguard your ears when you’re exposed to loud noise.
So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s a sign that the banana is changing. 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.