Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas don’t taste like they once did. That’s because modern banana farmers grow an exceptionally different variety of banana then they used to. These new bananas grow faster, are more robust, and can thrive in a wider variety of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you detected the great banana exchange? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, over time. You never noticed the gradual change.

The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It’s not like you get up one day and can’t hear a thing. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it progresses so slowly.

That’s unfortunate because early treatment can help preserve your hearing. If you know that your hearing is at risk, for instance, you might take more safeguards to protect it. So it’s a good plan to be on the lookout for these seven signs of waning hearing.

You should have your hearing evaluated if you notice any of these 7 signs

Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it develops slowly over time. It isn’t like you’ll be completely incapable of hearing the day after you went to that big rock show. Repetitive exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually results in recognizable hearing loss. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to protect it. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to a greater risk of problems like dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it’s not something you want to mess around with.

You should, uh, watch out for these seven indications that you may be experiencing hearing loss. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing test, but these signs might 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 continually turning up the volume on your devices? Sure, maybe it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, or that the audio mixing on TV shows is drastically different than it was before. 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 will often notice your hearing loss before you become aware of it.

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

If you’re frequently missing some everyday sounds, that could be an indication of trouble with your ears. A few of the most ordinary sounds you may miss include:

  • Someone knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but you in fact missed him knocking.
  • Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
  • Your phone: Are you failing to get text messages? No one calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.

You’re missing important 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?”? It’s likely that it’s a problem with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat what they said when they talk to you. This is especially relevant if people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Looks like a hearing test is needed.

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 talking under their breath, the truth is… well, they probably aren’t. That may be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling things about you). Instead, it’s more likely that you’re just having a difficult 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 particularly true.

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

You most likely have a rather close relationship with your friends and family. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. If your family members (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 understandable that you would want to rationalize away this advice. Perhaps you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But taking their advice could maintain the health of your hearing.

Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)

When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition known as tinnitus. It isn’t at all uncommon. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:

  • Damage can cause both: Both hearing loss and tinnitus can be brought on by damage. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
  • Hearing loss can make tinnitus more obvious: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you encounter. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.

It could be a sign that you’re dealing with 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: You feel tired after social interactions

Perhaps the reason why social situations have become so exhausting is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you used to.

Your hearing might be the reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. Your brain is attempting to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So you might experience even more exhaustion when you’re in an especially noisy setting.

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 often you were using hearing protection) might have a huge impact on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss at all.

So it may be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and contact us for an appointment. 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.