Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow a really different type of banana then they used to. Today’s banana can grow easily in a wide variety of climates, are more resilient, and can sprout faster. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this change occur without us detecting it? Well, the truth is that it developed slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual change.

Hearing loss can happen in a similar way. It’s not like you get up one day and can’t hear a thing. For the majority of people, hearing loss advances gradually, often so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s taking place.

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. So it’s a good plan to be on the lookout for these seven signs of waning hearing.

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

Hearing loss isn’t always thoroughly understood as it happens slowly over time. It isn’t like you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself totally unable to hear. Repetitive exposure to loud sound over a long period of time gradually leads to 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 problems like social isolation, depression, and dementia.

You should, uh, watch out for these seven signs that you may be experiencing hearing loss. A hearing exam is the only way to know, but perhaps these warning signs will prompt you to take some early action.

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

Do you find yourself frequently reaching for the volume controls? Maybe they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have begun to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not likely) that you’re hearing is slowly degrading, and that you’re increasing the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.

If others keep telling you the TV is too loud this is particularly likely. They will often observe your hearing loss before you become aware of it.

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

It could be an indication that you’re having hearing issues if you are continuously missing everyday sounds. Some of the most ordinary sounds you may miss include:

  • Somebody knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: When your best friend unexpectedly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you simply missed it.
  • Timers and alarms: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is too quiet.
  • Your phone: Are you missing text messages? Nobody makes phone calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.

If your family and friends have mentioned that they’re kind of afraid of driving with you because you’re missing so many common sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be an indication that it’s time for a hearing exam.

Sign #3: You keep asking people to repeat what they said

Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most commonly used words? It’s likely that it’s an issue with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat what they said when they’re talking with you. This is particularly true if people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear what they’re saying. Definitely, time to schedule a hearing exam.

Sign #4: It sounds like everyone’s always mumbling

This one goes fairly well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. You should recognize 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. That may be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling things about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re just having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.

This can be particularly pronounced if you’re attempting to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you need to have a conversation in a loud space, such as a restaurant.

Sign #5: Loved ones keep suggesting you get your hearing checked

You most likely have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. It’s a smart idea to listen to your family members (particularly the younger ones) if they are telling you something is going on with your hearing.

It’s understandable 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 taking their advice.

Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)

Ringing in your ears is a condition called tinnitus. It’s not at all unusual. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:

  • Both can be caused by damage: Damage causes both tinnitus and hearing loss. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to experience both hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Hearing loss can make tinnitus more obvious: In your typical day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you experience. 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 an indication that something is happening in your ears. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you should come see us for a hearing test.

Sign #7: You feel exhausted after social interactions

Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social settings have grown totally draining. Or maybe, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it used to be.

Your hearing may be the reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain tries overtime to fill in those holes. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So you might experience even more exhaustion when you’re in an especially noisy setting.

Start by coming to see us

Honestly, hearing damage is common to everybody to some level. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you protect your ears when you’re subjected to loud noise.

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 call us for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.

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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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