Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. There are extremely different types of bananas being cultivated today by banana farmers. Today’s banana can develop easily in a wide variety of climates, are more robust, and can grow faster. And they taste quite different. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana exchange? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, over time. You never noticed the gradual change.

The same thing can occur with your ears and hearing loss. It’s not like all of a sudden your hearing is totally gone. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes unnoticed because it develops so slowly.

Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. If you are aware that your hearing is at risk, for example, you might take more safeguards to protect it. That’s why it might be significant to watch for these seven indications your hearing could be waning.

You should have your hearing evaluated if you exhibit any of these 7 indicators

Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped 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 completely incapable of hearing. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. The earlier you treat your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to a greater danger of problems including dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it’s not something you should mess around with.

You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven signs that you might be developing hearing loss. A hearing exam is the only way to be sure, but maybe these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.

Sign #1: You keep cranking up the volume on your devices

Do you find yourself frequently 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 used to be. But it’s also possible (if not probable) that you’re hearing is slowly degrading, and that you’re raising the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.

If others keep telling you the volume is too high this is especially likely. They can often spot hearing trouble in you sooner than you can.

Sign #2: You failed to hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)

If you’re constantly missing some day to day sounds, that might be a sign of trouble with your ears. Here are some common sounds you could be missing:

  • Somebody knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but you in fact missed his knocks.
  • Alarms and timers: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It may not be your alarm’s fault.
  • Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? Nobody makes phone calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.

You’re missing essential sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your family and friends are becoming scared to drive with you.

Sign #3: You’re always asking people to repeat what they said

Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most regularly used words? 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 especially relevant. Looks like a hearing test is needed.

Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?

This one goes pretty well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. If it sounds as if everyone around you is constantly mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they probably aren’t. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it might be a comfort to learn they’re actually not. Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.

If you’re trying to talk to somebody in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be particularly relevant.

Sign #5: Family members prompt you to take a hearing exam (or invest in hearing aids)

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 plan to pay attention to your family members (especially the younger ones) if they are telling you something is going on with your hearing.

We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this recommendation away. Perhaps you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But taking their advice could protect the health of your hearing.

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: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be brought on by damage. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
  • Tinnitus is more pronounced when you have hearing loss: In your typical 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 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 should come see us for an exam.

Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling exhausted

Perhaps the reason why social situations have become so exhausting is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you used to.

When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling completely exhausted, your hearing (or lack thereof) might be the cause. Your brain is attempting to fill in the holes that you can’t hear. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So you might experience even more fatigue when you’re in an especially noisy setting.

The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment

Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some degree. Exactly how much (and how often you were using hearing protection) may have a big affect 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. 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.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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