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Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas taste a lot different then they used to. There are very different varieties of bananas being grown these days by banana farmers. Today’s banana can develop easily in a large number of climates, are more robust, and can sprout faster. And they taste quite different. So why haven’t you detected the great banana swap? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual switch.

The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like you get up one day and can’t hear anything. For most people, hearing loss advances gradually, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.

Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s an unfortunate truth. You can take steps to safeguard your hearing if you recognize that it’s in danger. That’s why it may be important to watch for these seven signs your hearing might be waning.

You should have your hearing evaluated if you exhibit any of these 7 indicators

Hearing loss occurs gradually and over time, but it isn’t always well grasped. It isn’t like you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself completely unable to hear. Repetitive exposure to loud sound over a long period of time slowly leads to noticeable hearing loss. The earlier you manage your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to a greater danger of problems including dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it isn’t something you want to mess around with.

You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven signs that you might be developing hearing loss. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing assessment, but these indicators may encourage you to make an appointment earlier than you normally would have.

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

Are you constantly cranking up the volume on your devices? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have started to mumble. But it’s more likely that you’re compensating for your increasing hearing loss by turning the volume up on your devices.

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

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

If you’re frequently missing some day to day sounds, that could be an indication of trouble 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 suddenly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did in fact knock, you just missed it.
  • Alarms and timers: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is too quiet.
  • Your phone: Are you missing text messages? No one makes phone calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.

If your loved ones have stated that they’re a little afraid of driving with you because you’re missing so many day to day sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck backing up), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing test.

Sign #3: You’re continuously needing people to repeat themselves

Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most commonly used words? It’s likely that it’s an issue with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat what they said when they talk to you. If people do repeat themselves and you still fail to hear them this is especially relevant. Probably, time to schedule a hearing exam.

Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?

You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go pretty well together. If it sounds like everyone around you is continuously mumbling or saying something under their breath, the truth is… well, they probably aren’t. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it might be a relief to learn they’re actually not. Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re just having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.

This can be especially noticeable if you’re attempting to listen to someone who has a higher pitched voice, or if you need to have a conversation in a loud space, like a restaurant.

Sign #5: Family members encourage you to get a hearing assessment (or get hearing aids)

Your friends and family probably know you quite well. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. If your members of your family (particularly younger) are telling you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a good plan to listen to them (no pun intended).

It’s understandable that you would want to rationalize away this advice. Possibly you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But you could give your hearing an advantage by heeding their advice.

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

When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s incredibly common. 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 experience both hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Hearing loss can make tinnitus more noticeable: 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 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. And that means (no surprise here), yes, you need to come see us for an exam.

Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted

Perhaps the reason why social situations have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or perhaps, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it used to be.

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

The first step is calling us for an appointment

The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage during our lives. If or when you develop hearing loss has a lot to do with how well you protect your ears when you’re subjected to loud noise.

So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Luckily, 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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