Man sitting on couc watching television holding the remote to turn up the volume because of hearing loss.

Bananas don’t taste like they once did. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow an exceptionally different variety of banana then they used to. Today’s banana can develop easily in a wide variety of climates, are more robust, and can develop faster. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana exchange? Well, the change wasn’t a quick one. The change was so slow you never noticed.

Hearing loss can happen in a similar way. It isn’t like all of a sudden your hearing is entirely gone. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it advances so slowly.

Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s a regrettable truth. If you are aware that your hearing is at risk, for instance, you might take more safeguards to protect it. So it’s a good plan to be on the lookout for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.

7 signs you should get a hearing assessment

Hearing loss isn’t always thoroughly grasped as it happens slowly over time. It isn’t as if 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 produces noticeable hearing loss. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to protect it. You shouldn’t put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been connected to problems like social isolation, depression, and dementia.

You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven signs that you may 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

Are you constantly 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 sound mixing on TV shows is drastically different than it used to be. But it’s also possible (if not probable) that you’re hearing is gradually degrading, 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 regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can usually notice hearing issues in you faster than you can.

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

If you’re regularly missing some everyday sounds, that may be a sign of issues with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you could be missing:

  • Somebody knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: When your good friend unexpectedly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did in fact knock, you just missed it.
  • Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get burned? It may not be your alarm’s fault.
  • Your phone: Are you missing text messages? Nobody makes phone calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a 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 keep asking people to repeat what they said

Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? 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. This is especially relevant if people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear what they’re saying. Seems like a hearing test is in order.

Sign #4: It sounds as if everyone’s always mumbling

This one goes fairly well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. If it sounds like everybody around you is continuously mumbling or talking under their breath, the reality is… well, they likely aren’t. That might be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re simply 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 noisy space, such as a restaurant.

Sign #5: Family members prompt you to take a hearing test (or get hearing aids)

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

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 heeding their advice could maintain the health of your hearing.

Sign #6: Your ears are ringing or you’re experiencing balance issues

When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It isn’t at all unusual. There are a couple of reasons why you may 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 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: 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.

It could be a sign that you’re dealing with issues with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance problems and vertigo. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you should come see us for an exam.

Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social engagement

Maybe the reason why social situations 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 once did.

Your hearing could be the reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain works really hard to fill in those gaps. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So when you’re in particularly strenuous situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more exhaustion.

The first step is calling us for an appointment

Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some level. Exactly how much (and how often you were wearing hearing protection) may have a big affect on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss at all.

So it might be an indication that the banana is changing if you encounter any of these signs. Happily, you can take matters into your own hands and call us for an appointment. The sooner your hearing loss is identified, 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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