Audiology Associates of North Florida - Tallahassee, FL

Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas taste a lot different then they did in the past. There are very different types of bananas being grown these days by banana farmers. Today’s banana can grow successfully in a large number of climates, are more robust, and can sprout faster. And they taste quite different. So how did this swap occur without us detecting it? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. You never noticed the gradual switch.

Hearing loss can occur in the same way. It’s not like you get up one day and can’t hear anything. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes unobserved because it develops so slowly.

Early treatment can really help maintain your hearing so that’s a regrettable truth. If you are aware that your hearing is at risk, for instance, you may take more precautions 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 exhibit any of these 7 indicators

Hearing loss develops gradually and over time, but it’s not always well grasped. It isn’t like you’ll be completely unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock show. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) builds up over time. The sooner you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to a greater danger of issues like dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it’s not something you should mess about with.

These seven indicators are what you should be paying attention to 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 keep cranking up the volume on your devices

Are you constantly turning 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 sound mixing on TV shows is drastically different than it used to be. 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 constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will frequently notice your hearing loss before you notice it.

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

It could be an indication that you’re having hearing problems if you are constantly missing everyday sounds. Some of the most ordinary sounds you might miss include:

  • Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your best friend unexpectedly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you simply missed it.
  • Alarms and timers: Did you burn dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
  • Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? No one calls nowadays, 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 scared to drive with you.

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

Are your most commonly used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re regularly asking people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it isn’t because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is particularly true if people do repeat what they said and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Most likely, time to get a hearing assessment.

Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?

You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go rather well together. 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 that way. It’s stressful to always think people are mumbling about you, so it might be a relief to find out they’re actually not. Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re just having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.

If you’re attempting to talk to someone in a noisy setting or with someone who has a high pitched voice this can be especially true.

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

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

It’s easy to understand that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Perhaps you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But heeding their advice could maintain the health of your hearing.

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

Ringing in your ears is a condition known as 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:

  • Damage can trigger both: 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 pronounced when you have hearing loss: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your daily life. But as those everyday noises recede to the background (as a result of hearing loss), the tinnitus becomes comparatively louder and significantly more noticeable.

In either case, if you’re experiencing loud ringing, or even dizziness and vertigo, it could be an indication that something is happening in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.

Sign #7: You feel exhausted after social engagement

Perhaps you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social settings have grown totally draining. Or perhaps, and just hear us out here (again with the puns), your hearing isn’t what it once was.

When you leave a restaurant or a social affair feeling totally exhausted, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the reason why. Your brain is attempting to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So when you’re in particularly challenging situations (like a noisy space), you might experience even more exhaustion.

Begin by coming to see us

Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some degree. Exactly how much (and how often you were using hearing protection) may have a big impact on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss in the first place.

So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! The sooner your hearing loss is identified, 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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