Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas don’t taste like they once did. There are very different types of bananas being grown these days by banana farmers. These new bananas develop faster, are more robust, and can thrive in a wider range of climates. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana exchange? Well, the truth is that it happened slowly, over time. The change was so slow you never noticed.

Hearing loss can occur in a similar way. It isn’t like you wake up one day and can’t hear a thing. In most circumstances of hearing loss, it goes undetected because it progresses so slowly.

Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s a regrettable truth. You can take measures to safeguard your hearing if you recognize that it’s at risk. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these seven signs of diminishing hearing.

7 indications you should get a hearing test

Hearing loss develops gradually and over time, but it’s not always well understood. It isn’t as if you’ll go to a loud rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely incapable of hearing. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) builds up over time. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. You shouldn’t put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been connected to issues like social separation, depression, and dementia.

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

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

Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Perhaps they’re mixing the sound on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite actors 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.

This is especially the situation if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will frequently observe your hearing loss before you become aware of it.

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

If you’re regularly missing some everyday sounds, that may be a sign of trouble with your ears. Here are some common sounds you might be missing:

  • Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): You thought your friend just walked into your house but you in fact missed him knocking.
  • Alarms and timers: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
  • Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? You’re more likely to miss text messages than phone calls since no one makes calls these days.

If your loved ones have pointed out that they’re kind of scared of driving with you because you’re missing so many everyday sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be an indication that it’s time for a hearing test.

Sign #3: You keep asking people to repeat what they said

Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most frequently used words? 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 particularly 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?

This one goes fairly well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. You should recognize that people probably aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it feel that way. That might be a comfort (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 simply having a difficult time hearing what they’re saying.

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

Sign #5: Family members encourage you to take a hearing exam (or invest in hearing aids)

You probably have a pretty close relationship with your family and friends. It’s likely that at least some of them have fairly healthy hearing. It’s a good idea to pay attention to your family members (especially the younger ones) if they are telling you something’s up with your hearing.

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 taking their advice could protect 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 unusual. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become severe for a couple of reasons:

  • Both can be triggered 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.
  • Tinnitus is more noticeable when you have hearing loss: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you experience. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (due to hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes relatively louder and substantially more noticeable.

It could be an indication that you’re experiencing problems with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance issues and vertigo. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing test.

Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted

Perhaps the reason why social situations have become so exhausting 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 reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social event. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain tries overtime to fill in those holes. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), especially over the long run. So when you’re in especially 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 degree. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you protect your ears when you’re exposed to loud noise.

So it might be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Happily, 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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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.