Evanston Audiology - Evanston, IL

Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas don’t taste the same as they once did. There are very different varieties of bananas being grown today by banana farmers. Today’s banana can grow successfully in a wide variety of climates, are more resilient, and can grow faster. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this swap happen without us noticing? Well, the reality is that it happened slowly, through the years. The change was so gradual you never noticed.

The same thing can take place with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like suddenly your hearing is completely gone. For the majority of people, hearing loss develops gradually, frequently so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s taking place.

That’s regrettable because early treatment can help preserve your hearing. If you are aware that your hearing is at risk, for example, you might take more precautions to protect it. That’s why it may be important to watch for these seven signs your hearing might be waning.

7 signs you should get a hearing assessment

Hearing loss happens slowly and over time, but it isn’t always well understood. It’s not as if you’ll be totally incapable of hearing the day after you went to that big rock show. Repeated exposure to loud noise over a long period of time gradually leads to noticeable hearing loss. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to an increased danger of issues including dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it isn’t something you should mess about with.

These seven indicators are what you should be paying attention to out for. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing assessment, but these signs may encourage you to schedule an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.

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

Are you constantly turning up the volume on your devices? Perhaps they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists 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 particularly the situation if your family has also constantly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can usually recognize hearing issues in you faster than you can.

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

It could be an indication that you’re having hearing trouble if you are constantly missing everyday sounds. Here are a few common sounds you might be missing:

  • Someone knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: When your best friend suddenly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did in fact knock, you simply missed it.
  • Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through your alarm clock? It may not be your alarm’s fault.
  • Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you missed them? No one makes phone calls nowadays, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.

If your loved ones have mentioned that they’re a little scared of driving with you because you miss so many everyday sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck backing up), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing exam.

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

Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? It’s likely that it’s an issue with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat themselves when they’re talking with you. This is especially true if people do repeat what they said and you still can’t hear what they’re saying. Seems like a hearing test is in order.

Sign #4: It sounds like everyone’s always mumbling

This one goes pretty well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. You should realize that people probably 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 relief to find out they’re actually not. The truth is that you’re simply not hearing them due to your loss of hearing.

This can be particularly pronounced if you’re attempting to listen to somebody who has a higher pitched voice, or if you have to have a conversation in a loud space, such as a restaurant.

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

Your family and friends probably know you quite well. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. It’s a smart idea to listen to your family members (particularly the younger ones) if they are telling you something is going on with your hearing.

We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this recommendation away. Maybe you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But you could do your hearing a favor by heeding their advice.

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

When you have ringing in your ears, you’re dealing with a condition called tinnitus. It’s not at all uncommon. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become extreme for a couple of reasons:

  • Damage can cause 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: In your normal day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overwhelmed by the everyday noises you encounter. 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 an indication that something is happening in your ears. This means it’s time to come see us for a hearing assessment.

Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted

Maybe the reason why social situations have become so tiring is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you once did.

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

The first step is calling us for an appointment

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

So if you’ve experienced any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Fortunately, 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.
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