Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas taste a lot different then they used to. There are rather different varieties of bananas being cultivated today by banana farmers. Today’s banana can develop easily in a large number of climates, are more robust, and can develop faster. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you detected the great banana exchange? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. You never noticed the gradual switch.

The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like you wake up one day and can’t hear a thing. For the majority of people, hearing loss progresses gradually, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.

Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s a regrettable truth. You can take measures to safeguard your hearing if you’re aware that it’s at risk. That’s why it may be important to watch for these seven indications your hearing could be waning.

7 signs you should get a hearing exam

Hearing loss takes place slowly and over time, but it isn’t always well understood. It isn’t as if you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself totally unable to hear. Recurring exposure to loud noise over a long period of time slowly results in recognizable hearing loss. The earlier you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You don’t want to put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been linked to issues like social separation, 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 make an appointment earlier than you normally would have.

Sign #1: You’re constantly cranking the volume up

Are you continually cranking up the volume on your devices? Sure, maybe it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have begun to mumble, or that the audio 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 gradually going, 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 particularly likely. They will frequently observe your hearing loss before you notice it.

Sign #2: You didn’t hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)

If you’re continually missing some everyday sounds, that may be an indication of trouble with your ears. A few of the most ordinary noises you might miss include:

  • Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but actually missed him knocking.
  • Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
  • Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? No one 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 friends and family are becoming afraid to drive with you.

Sign #3: You’re continuously asking people to repeat themselves

Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re constantly needing people to repeat what they said, it’s very, very possible it isn’t because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). If people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear them this is especially true. Looks like a hearing test is in order.

Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?

This one goes fairly well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. You should realize that people probably 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 may be a relief to find out they’re actually not. Instead, it’s more likely that you’re just 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 especially relevant.

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

You most likely have a rather close relationship with your friends and family. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. If your family members (especially younger) are telling you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a good idea to listen to them (no pun intended).

We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this advice 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: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance issues

When you’re experiencing ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s incredibly common. 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 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 daily life. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.

In either case, if you’re going through loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is happening in your ears. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you should come see us for an exam.

Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted

Maybe the reason why social interactions have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you used to.

Your hearing may 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 works overtime to fill in those gaps. 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 a particularly noisy setting.

Begin by coming to see us

Honestly, hearing damage is common to everybody to some degree. Just how much (and how frequently you were using 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 encountered any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Happily, you can take matters into your own hands and give us a call for an appointment. The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to get 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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