Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a very different variety of banana then they did in the past. Today’s banana can grow easily in a large number of climates, are more resilient, and can sprout faster. And they taste quite different. So how did this swap take place without us detecting it? Well, the reality is that it developed slowly, over time. The change was so gradual you never noticed.
Hearing loss can occur in the same way. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear anything. For most people, hearing loss advances slowly, frequently so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s happening.
That’s regrettable because early intervention can help preserve your hearing. If you are aware that your hearing is in danger, for example, you may take more precautions to protect it. That’s why it might be worthwhile to watch for these seven indications your hearing could be waning.
7 indications you should get a hearing test
Hearing loss develops gradually and over time, but it isn’t always well grasped. It’s not like you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself totally 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. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk of problems including dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it isn’t something you want to mess about with.
You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven signs that you might be developing hearing loss. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing assessment, but these signs might encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.
Sign #1: You’re constantly cranking up the volume
Are you continually turning up the volume on your devices? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have started to mumble. 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 particularly the case if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often observe your hearing loss before you notice it.
Sign #2: You failed to hear the doorbell (or a phone call)
It could be an indication that you’re having hearing trouble if you are continuously missing day to day sounds. Here are some common sounds you may be missing:
- Somebody knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: You thought your friend just walked into your house but you in fact missed his knocks.
- Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get overcooked? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
- 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.
You’re missing important sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your friends and family are becoming afraid to drive with you.
Sign #3: You’re constantly needing people to repeat what they said
Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most commonly used words? If you’re constantly asking 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 especially relevant if people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Probably, time to schedule a hearing test.
Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?
You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go rather well together. If it sounds like everybody around you is continuously mumbling or saying something under their breath, the reality is… well, they probably aren’t. That may be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling things about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.
If you’re attempting to talk to someone in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be especially true.
Sign #5: Family members encourage you to take a hearing assessment (or get hearing aids)
Your family and friends probably know you pretty well. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. It’s a smart idea to pay attention to your family members (especially the younger ones) if they are telling you something’s up with your hearing.
It’s easy to understand that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Perhaps you think 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)
Ringing in your ears is a condition known as tinnitus. It’s not at all unusual. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become extreme for a couple of reasons:
- Both can be triggered by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by damage. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to develop both hearing loss and tinnitus.
- Tinnitus is more obvious 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.
In either case, if you’re noticing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be an indication that something is happening in your ears. And that means (no shock here), yes, you need to come see us for an exam.
Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted
Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social settings have become totally draining. Or perhaps, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it once was.
Your hearing might be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain tries really hard to fill in those gaps. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So when you’re in especially strenuous situations (such as a noisy space), you might experience even more fatigue.
Begin by coming to see us
The truth is that we all experience some hearing damage during our lives. Exactly how much (and how frequently you were wearing hearing protection) might have a big impact on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss in the first place.
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.