Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City, OK

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Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas taste a lot different then they used to. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow a very different variety of banana then they did in the past. These new bananas sprout faster, are more resilient, and can thrive in a wider variety of climates. And they taste quite different. So why haven’t you detected the great banana swap? Well, the reality is that it developed slowly, through the years. You never noticed the gradual change.

The same thing can occur with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like suddenly your hearing is completely gone. For most people, hearing loss develops slowly, often so slowly that you don’t really recognize what’s taking place.

Early treatment can really help preserve your hearing so that’s an unfortunate 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.

7 indications you should get a hearing assessment

Hearing loss occurs slowly and over time, but it’s not always well understood. It isn’t as if you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself completely unable to hear. Recurring exposure to loud sound over a long period of time gradually leads to recognizable hearing loss. So keeping an eye on your hearing early will be the best way to safeguard it. You don’t want to put off on this because untreated hearing loss has been linked to issues like social isolation, depression, and dementia.

You should, uh, keep your ear to the ground for these seven indications that you may be developing hearing loss. The only way to know for certain is to get a hearing test, but these indicators may encourage you to schedule an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.

Sign #1: You keep cranking up the volume on your devices

Are you continually turning up the volume on your devices? Maybe they’re mixing the audio on your favorite shows differently now, or your favorite artists have begun to mumble. But it’s also possible (if not likely) that you’re hearing is slowly going, and that you’re raising the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.

If others keep telling you the volume is too loud this is particularly likely. They can usually spot hearing issues in you sooner than you can.

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

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

  • Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): When your best friend suddenly walks into your house, take into account the possibility that they did actually knock, you just missed it.
  • Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get overcooked? It might 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 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 afraid to drive with you.

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

Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most commonly used words? If you’re regularly asking people to repeat what they said, 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 particularly true. Definitely, time to get a hearing test.

Sign #4: Is everyone starting to mumble?

This one goes pretty well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. If it sounds like everybody around you is constantly 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.

This can be particularly 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 noisy space, like a restaurant.

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

You probably have a pretty close relationship with your friends and family. And some of them probably have healthy hearing. It’s a smart plan to pay attention to your family members (particularly the younger ones) if they are telling you something is going on with your hearing.

It’s understandable that you would want to rationalize away this proposal. Maybe you feel like they just caught you on a bad day or something. But taking their advice could protect the health of your hearing.

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 known as tinnitus. It’s extremely common. When you’re dealing with hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:

  • Both can be triggered by damage: Damage causes both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to develop both hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Tinnitus is more noticeable when you have hearing loss: Tinnitus can be drowned-out by everyday noises in your daily life. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.

It could be an indication that you’re dealing with problems 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 assessment.

Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted

Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social situations have become totally draining. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you used to.

Your hearing may 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 exhausted. So when you’re in especially challenging situations (such as a noisy space), you might experience even more exhaustion.

Start by coming to see us

The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage during our lives. Just how much (and how often you were wearing hearing protection) may have a huge impact on when you develop hearing loss, or if you develop hearing loss in the first place.

So it may be an indication that the banana is changing if you experience any of these signs. Thankfully, there’s something you can do about it: come in and get evaluated! 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.
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