Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a really different type of banana then they did in the past. These new bananas sprout faster, are more resilient, and can thrive in a wider variety of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this change take place without us noticing? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, over time. 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 totally gone. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes unobserved because it advances so slowly.

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

7 indications you should get a hearing assessment

Hearing loss isn’t always well understood as it happens gradually over time. It isn’t like you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely unable to hear. Recurring exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually leads to recognizable hearing loss. The sooner you treat your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to a greater danger of problems such as dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it’s not something you should mess around with.

You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven indications that you might be experiencing hearing loss. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing test, but these indicators might encourage you to schedule an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.

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

Are you constantly cranking up the volume on your devices? Maybe they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors have started to mumble. 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 case if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can often notice hearing problems in you faster than you can.

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

If you’re continually missing some day to day sounds, that might be a sign of issues with your ears. A few of the most ordinary sounds you might miss include:

  • Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but you in fact missed his knocks.
  • Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is too quiet.
  • Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since nobody makes calls these days.

You’re missing crucial 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 constantly asking people to repeat what they said

Are your most commonly 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 themselves when they talk to you. This is particularly relevant if people do repeat themselves and you still can’t hear what they’re saying. Seems like a hearing test is needed.

Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?

You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go pretty well together. If it sounds as if everybody around you is continuously mumbling or saying something under their breath, the truth is… well, they likely aren’t. That may be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling stuff about you). The truth is that you’re just not hearing them due to your hearing loss.

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

Sign #5: Loved ones keep recommending you get your hearing tested

Your family and friends probably know you pretty well. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. If your members of your family (especially younger) are telling you that something isn’t right 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 advice away. Maybe you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But heeding their advice could preserve 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 known as tinnitus. It isn’t at all uncommon. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:

  • Both can be caused by damage: Damage triggers both tinnitus and hearing loss. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
  • Hearing loss can make tinnitus more noticeable: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your daily life. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (as a result of hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and substantially more noticeable.

It could be an indication that you’re experiencing issues with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance problems and vertigo. This means it’s time to 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 settings have become totally draining. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you used to.

Your hearing might be the cause when you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. Your brain is attempting to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So you might experience even more fatigue when you’re in a particularly noisy setting.

The first step is calling us for an appointment

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 exposed to loud noise.

So it may be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get tested! The sooner your hearing loss is identified, 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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