Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. There are extremely different varieties of bananas being cultivated today by banana farmers. Today’s banana can grow successfully in a large number of climates, are more resilient, and can grow faster. And they taste very different. So how did this change happen without us noticing? Well, the reality is that it happened slowly, over time. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
Hearing loss can occur in the same way. It’s not 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 intervention can help preserve your hearing. You can take measures to safeguard your hearing if you’re aware that it’s in danger. That’s why it may be important to watch for these seven indications your hearing might be waning.
7 signs you should get a hearing exam
Hearing loss happens gradually and over time, but it’s not always well understood. It’s not like you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely unable to hear. Repeated exposure to loud sound over a long period of time gradually leads to noticeable 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 connected to problems such as social isolation, depression, and dementia.
You should, uh, watch out for these seven signs that you might be developing hearing loss. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing exam, but these indicators might encourage you to schedule an appointment earlier than you normally would have.
Sign #1: You’re continually cranking the volume up
Are you constantly turning up the volume on your devices? Sure, maybe it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, or that the sound 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 slowly going, and that you’re raising the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.
This is especially the case if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can usually notice hearing problems in you faster than you can.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing problems if you are constantly missing day to day sounds. A few of the most common noises you may miss include:
- Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but actually missed his knocks.
- Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get burned? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
- Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since no one makes calls these days.
You’re missing essential 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 an issue with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat themselves when they’re talking with you. If people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear them this is particularly true. Most likely, time to get a hearing test.
Sign #4: It sounds like everyone’s always mumbling
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go pretty well together. If it sounds like everybody around you is constantly mumbling or saying something under their breath, the reality is… well, they probably aren’t. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it might be a comfort to find out they’re actually not. The reality is that you’re simply not hearing them because of your hearing loss.
This can be especially noticeable if you’re attempting to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a noisy space, like a restaurant.
Sign #5: Loved ones keep suggesting you get your hearing tested
Your family and friends probably know you quite well. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. It’s a good idea 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 recommendation away. Possibly you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. 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 isn’t at all uncommon. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Damage causes both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to develop both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Hearing loss can make tinnitus more obvious: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your daily life. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.
It could be a sign that you’re experiencing issues with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance issues and vertigo. And that means (no shock here), yes, you should come see us for an exam.
Sign #7: You feel tired after social interactions
Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social interactions have become completely exhausting. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you used to.
Your hearing might be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain works really hard to fill in those gaps. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So you may experience even more exhaustion when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.
The first step is calling us for an appointment
The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage during our lives. 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 it may be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get tested! The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to receive treatment.