Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas taste a lot different then they did in the past. There are extremely different types of bananas being grown nowadays by banana farmers. Today’s banana can grow easily in a wide variety of climates, are more resilient, and can sprout faster. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this swap happen without us noticing? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual switch.

The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear a thing. For the majority of people, hearing loss progresses slowly, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s taking place.

That’s unfortunate because early treatment can help preserve your hearing. You can take measures to safeguard your hearing if you’re aware that it’s at risk. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.

7 signs you should get a hearing assessment

Hearing loss isn’t always well understood as it develops gradually over time. It’s not like you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself completely incapable of hearing. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. So monitoring your hearing early will be the best way to protect it. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to an increased risk of problems such as dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it’s not something you should mess around with.

These seven indicators are what you should be watching out for. A hearing test is the only way to be sure, but perhaps these warning signs will prompt you to take some early action.

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

Are you constantly cranking up the volume on your devices? Perhaps 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 likely) that you’re hearing is gradually 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 loud this is especially likely. They can usually recognize hearing issues in you sooner than you can.

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

It could be an indication that you’re having hearing trouble if you are continuously missing everyday sounds. Here are some common sounds you may be missing:

  • Someone knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: When your best friend unexpectedly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did in fact knock, you simply missed it.
  • Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get overcooked? 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 no one makes calls these days.

You’re missing essential sounds while driving, like honking horns or trucks beeping while backing up, and your friends and family are becoming scared to drive with you.

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

Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re regularly needing people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it’s not because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). If people do repeat what they said and you still fail to hear them this is especially relevant. Definitely, time to schedule a hearing assessment.

Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?

This one goes pretty well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. You should know that people most likely aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it seem like this. It’s stressful to always feel like people are mumbling about you, so it may be a comfort to find out they’re actually not. Instead, 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 trying to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a loud space, like a restaurant.

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

You probably have a rather close relationship with your family and friends. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. If your members of your family (especially younger) are informing you that something is wrong 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. Possibly 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 called tinnitus. It’s incredibly common. 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: Damage causes both tinnitus and hearing loss. 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.

Either way, if you’re noticing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be a sign that something is going on in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.

Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling exhausted

Perhaps the reason why social situations have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or maybe, 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 event. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain tries overtime to fill in those gaps. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So you might experience even more exhaustion when you’re in an especially noisy setting.

Start by coming to see us

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

So it might be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Fortunately, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get tested! The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, the sooner you’ll be able to receive 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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