Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas don’t taste like they once did. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a very different type of banana then they did in the past. Today’s banana can grow successfully in a large number of climates, are more resilient, and can sprout faster. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this change take place without us detecting it? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual change.

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

That’s regrettable because early intervention can help maintain your hearing. You can take measures to protect your hearing if you’re aware that it’s at risk. That’s why it may be significant to watch for these seven signs your hearing could be waning.

You should get your hearing evaluated if you experience any of these 7 signs

Hearing loss takes place 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 completely incapable of hearing. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. You don’t want to put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been connected to problems such as social isolation, depression, and dementia.

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

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

Are you continually turning 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 dramatically different than it used to be. But it’s also possible (if not probable) 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 especially the situation if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will often notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.

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

If you’re continuously missing some day to day sounds, that could be a sign of issues with your ears. A few of the most common sounds you may miss include:

  • Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your good friend suddenly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did in fact knock, you simply missed it.
  • Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get overcooked? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
  • Your phone: Are you missing text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since no one makes calls these days.

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

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

Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently used words? If you’re constantly asking people to repeat what they said, it’s very, very possible it’s not because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is especially true if people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Probably, time to get 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. If it sounds as if everyone around you is constantly mumbling or saying something under their breath, the truth is… well, they likely aren’t. That might be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling things about you). Instead, it’s more likely that you’re just having a difficult 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 particularly relevant.

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

You probably have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. It’s a good plan to listen to your family members (especially the younger ones) if they are telling you something’s up with your hearing.

We get 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 heeding their advice could protect the health of your hearing.

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 very common. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become extreme for a couple of reasons:

  • Both can be triggered by damage: Damage triggers both tinnitus and loss of hearing. 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 day-to-day life. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.

Either way, if you’re experiencing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is going on in your ears. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you should come see us for a hearing test.

Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted

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

Your hearing may be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain works overtime to fill in those holes. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So when you’re in particularly strenuous situations (like a noisy space), you may experience even more fatigue.

Start by coming to see us

The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage in our lifetimes. Exactly how much (and how often you were wearing hearing protection) might have a big affect on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss in the first place.

So it may be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and contact 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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