Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. There are rather different types of bananas being grown these days by banana farmers. Today’s banana can develop easily in a wide variety of climates, are more robust, and can sprout faster. And they taste quite different. So why haven’t you detected the great banana exchange? Well, the reality is that it developed slowly, over time. 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 most individuals, hearing loss advances gradually, often so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s taking place.

That’s unfortunate because early intervention can help preserve your hearing. If you are aware that your hearing is at risk, for instance, you may take more safeguards to protect it. That’s why it may be important to watch for these seven indications your hearing might be waning.

7 signs you should get a hearing exam

Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it happens gradually over time. It’s not as if you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself totally incapable of hearing. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. The sooner you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You don’t want to put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been connected to problems such as social separation, depression, and dementia.

These seven indicators are what you should be watching out for. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing test, but these indicators might encourage you to schedule an appointment earlier than you normally would have.

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

Are you continually turning up the volume on your devices? Maybe they’re mixing the sound 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 gradually degrading, and that you’re increasing the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.

If others keep telling you the volume is too loud this is especially likely. They can often spot hearing issues in you sooner than you can.

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

It could be an indication that you’re having hearing issues if you are constantly missing everyday sounds. A few of the most common sounds you may miss include:

  • Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your good friend unexpectedly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did actually knock, you simply missed it.
  • Alarms and timers: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It may not be your alarm’s fault.
  • Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since nobody 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 scared to drive with you.

Sign #3: You’re continuously needing people to repeat what they said

Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently used words? If you’re regularly asking 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 true if people do repeat what they said and you still can’t hear what they say. Seems like a hearing test is in order.

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

You could also call this sign #3-A, because they go pretty well together. You should realize 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 might be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling things about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re simply having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.

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

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

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 family members (particularly younger) are informing you that something isn’t right with your hearing, it’s a smart plan to listen to them (no pun intended).

It’s understandable that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Maybe you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But taking their advice could maintain the health of your hearing.

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 uncommon. There are a couple of reasons why you may experience more ringing in your ears when you’re dealing with hearing loss:

  • Both can be caused by damage: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be caused by damage. 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 normal day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you encounter. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.

In either case, if you’re experiencing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be an indication that something is happening in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.

Sign #7: You feel exhausted after social engagement

Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have become completely exhausting. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you used to.

When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling utterly drained, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the reason why. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain tries really hard to fill in those gaps. This is exhausting (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So when you’re in particularly challenging situations (such as a noisy space), you might experience even more exhaustion.

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

Honestly, hearing damage is common to everybody to some level. Exactly how much (and how frequently you were using hearing protection) may have a huge affect on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss in the first place.

So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s a sign that the banana is changing. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and give us a call for an appointment. You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.

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