Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are extremely different types of bananas being cultivated these days by banana farmers. Today’s banana can develop successfully in a wide variety of climates, are more robust, and can develop faster. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this change take place without us noticing? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. The change was so slow you never noticed.

Hearing loss can happen in a similar way. It’s not like all of a sudden your hearing is totally gone. For the majority of individuals, hearing loss develops slowly, frequently so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s taking place.

Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s a regrettable truth. If you are aware that your hearing is in danger, for example, 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.

You should get your hearing tested if you notice any of these 7 indicators

Hearing loss happens gradually and over time, but it isn’t always well grasped. It isn’t as if you’ll be totally unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock concert. Recurring exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually results in noticeable hearing loss. The sooner you deal with 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 issues such as social isolation, depression, and dementia.

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

Sign #1: You’re continuously cranking up the volume

Are you constantly cranking 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 audio mixing on TV shows is drastically different than it was before. But it’s also possible (if not likely) that you’re hearing is slowly going, and that you’re raising the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.

If others keep telling you the TV is too high this is especially likely. They will frequently notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.

Sign #2: You missed the doorbell (or a phone call)

If you’re continually missing some day to day sounds, that could be a sign of issues with your ears. Here are some common sounds you may be missing:

  • Someone knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but you in fact missed his knocks.
  • Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get burned? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
  • Your phone: Are you missing text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since no one makes calls nowadays.

You’re missing essential 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

Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? 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). If people do repeat themselves and you still fail to hear them this is especially true. Looks like a hearing test is needed.

Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?

This one goes fairly well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. You should know that people probably 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 comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). The truth is that you’re just not hearing them because of your hearing loss.

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

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

Your friends and family probably know you quite well. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. If your members of your family (especially 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 easy to understand that you would want to rationalize away this advice. Perhaps 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 issues

Ringing in your ears is a condition known as tinnitus. It’s incredibly common. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:

  • Both can be triggered 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.
  • Tinnitus is more obvious when you have hearing loss: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your day-to-day life. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and significantly more noticeable.

It could be an indication that you’re dealing with problems with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance problems and vertigo. And that means (no shock here), yes, you should come see us for a hearing test.

Sign #7: You feel fatigued after social interactions

Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social interactions have grown totally draining. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you used to.

When you leave a restaurant or a social event feeling utterly exhausted, your hearing (or lack thereof) might be the reason why. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain works overtime to fill in those holes. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So when you’re in particularly strenuous situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more fatigue.

Begin by coming to see us

Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some degree. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you protect your ears when you’re subjected to loud noise.

So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s a sign that the banana is changing. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! You’ll be able to get treatment as soon as you get 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.