Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a very different type of banana then they did in the past. These new bananas develop faster, are more resilient, and can thrive in a wider variety of climates. And they taste very different. So how did this change occur without us noticing? Well, the reality is that it developed slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual switch.
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. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it progresses so slowly.
Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s a regrettable truth. If you are aware that your hearing is at risk, for example, you may take more safeguards to protect it. So it’s a good idea 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 thoroughly understood as it happens gradually over time. It’s not as if you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely unable to hear. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) builds up over time. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. You shouldn’t put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been linked to problems like social isolation, depression, and dementia.
These seven signs are what you should be paying attention to out for. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing assessment, but these indicators might encourage you to schedule an appointment earlier than you normally would have.
Sign #1: You keep turning up the volume on your devices
Are you constantly turning up the volume on your devices? 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 turning the volume up on your devices.
This is especially the situation if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can often recognize hearing trouble in you sooner than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
If you’re regularly missing some everyday sounds, that could be an indication of issues with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you may be missing:
- Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your good friend abruptly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did in fact knock, you simply missed it.
- Alarms and timers: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through 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 phone calls since nobody makes calls nowadays.
If your family and friends have stated that they’re a little scared of driving with you because you miss so many everyday 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
Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re constantly needing people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it’s not because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is particularly relevant if people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear what they say. Most likely, time to get a hearing exam.
Sign #4: It sounds as if everybody’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go rather well together. You should know that people most likely aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it seem that way. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it might be a relief to learn they’re actually not. Instead, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.
If you’re attempting to talk to somebody in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be especially relevant.
Sign #5: Family members prompt you to get a hearing assessment (or get hearing aids)
Your friends and family most likely know you pretty well. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. It’s a smart plan to pay attention to your family members (especially 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 advice. Maybe you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could give your hearing an advantage by heeding their advice.
Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance problems
When you’re experiencing ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition known as tinnitus. It’s extremely common. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you’re dealing with hearing loss:
- Damage can cause 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 suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is more noticeable when you have hearing loss: In your normal day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed 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 going through loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is going on 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 interactions have grown 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 affair feeling totally depleted, your hearing (or lack thereof) might be the cause. Your brain is trying to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So you may experience even more fatigue when you’re in an especially noisy setting.
The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment
The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage during our lives. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you protect your ears when you’re subjected to loud sound.
So if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and give us a call for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you get diagnosed.