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Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. There are rather different varieties of bananas being cultivated these days by banana farmers. Today’s banana can grow easily in a large number of climates, are more robust, and can grow faster. And they taste quite different. So how did this swap take place without us detecting it? Well, the reality is that it developed slowly, through the years. The change was so gradual you never noticed.

Hearing loss can occur in the same way. It isn’t like suddenly your hearing is entirely gone. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes unnoticed because it progresses so slowly.

That’s regrettable because early treatment can help preserve your hearing. You can take steps to safeguard your hearing if you’re aware that it’s in danger. That’s why it might be worthwhile to watch for these seven indications your hearing could be waning.

7 indications you should get a hearing exam

Hearing loss happens gradually and over time, but it isn’t always well grasped. It isn’t as if you’ll be completely incapable of hearing the day after you went to that big rock concert. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) builds up over time. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to protect it. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to a greater risk of issues like dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it’s not something you should mess about with.

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

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

Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Perhaps they’re mixing the sound on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have begun to mumble. But it’s more likely that you’re compensating for your increasing hearing loss by cranking the volume up on your devices.

If others keep telling you the volume is too loud this is especially likely. They can often recognize hearing problems in you faster than you can.

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

If you’re continually missing some everyday sounds, that may be an indication of issues with your ears. Some of the most ordinary sounds you may miss include:

  • Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but actually missed him knocking.
  • Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get overcooked? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is too quiet.
  • Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since nobody makes calls nowadays.

If your loved ones have pointed out that they’re a little scared of driving with you because you’re missing so many everyday sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing assessment.

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

Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently used words? If you’re regularly needing people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it isn’t because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is particularly relevant if people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Most likely, time to get a hearing test.

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

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

This can be especially pronounced if you’re attempting to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a noisy space, such as a restaurant.

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

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

It’s understandable that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Possibly you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But taking their advice could protect 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’s not at all uncommon. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:

  • Both can be triggered by damage: Damage causes both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Hearing loss can make tinnitus more obvious: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you experience. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.

Either way, 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 need to come see us for a hearing test.

Sign #7: You feel tired after social engagement

Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have become totally exhausting. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you once did.

When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling completely exhausted, your hearing (or lack thereof) might be the reason why. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain works really hard 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 fatigue when you’re in an especially noisy setting.

The first step is getting in touch with us for an appointment

The truth is that we all experience some hearing damage during our lives. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you safeguard your ears when you’re subjected to loud noise.

So it may 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. 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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