Louisville Family Audiology - Louisville, KY

Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. There are extremely different types of bananas being cultivated today by banana farmers. These new bananas develop faster, are more robust, and can thrive in a wider range of climates. They don’t taste the same either. So why haven’t you detected the great banana exchange? Well, the truth is that it developed slowly, through the years. The change was so slow you never noticed.

Hearing loss can occur in the same way. It’s not like you wake up one day and can’t hear anything. For the majority of people, hearing loss progresses slowly, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s happening.

That’s regrettable because early treatment can help preserve your hearing. If you know that your hearing is in danger, for example, you might take more safeguards to protect it. 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 exam

Hearing loss isn’t always well grasped as it develops slowly over time. It’s not like you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself totally 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 safeguard it. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to a greater risk of issues like dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it’s not something you want to mess around with.

You should, uh, watch out for these seven indications that you may be experiencing hearing loss. The only way to know for sure is to get a hearing test, but these signs might encourage you to schedule an appointment earlier than you otherwise would have.

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

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

This is especially the situation if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They will frequently notice 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 might be an indication of trouble with your ears. Here are a few common sounds you could be missing:

  • Someone knocking on your door or ringing your doorbell: You thought your friend just walked into your house but actually missed him knocking.
  • Timers and alarms: Did you overcook dinner or sleep or sleep through the ringing of your alarm clock? It might not be your alarm’s fault.
  • Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? Nobody makes phone calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a call.

If your loved ones have stated that they’re kind of scared of driving with you because you’re missing so many common sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck backing up), that could be an indication that it’s time for a hearing assessment.

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

Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most regularly used words? It’s likely that it’s a problem with your hearing that’s causing you to need people to repeat themselves when they talk to you. If people do repeat what they said and you still can’t hear them this is particularly true. Seems like a hearing test is needed.

Sign #4: It sounds as if everybody’s always mumbling

You could also call this sign #3-A, since they go rather well together. You should realize that people most likely aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it feel like this. That may be a comfort (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling things about you). 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 need to have a conversation in a loud space, such as a restaurant.

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

Your family and friends most likely know you pretty well. It’s likely that at least some of them have pretty healthy hearing. It’s a smart idea to pay attention to your family members (especially 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 advice. Possibly you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But you could do your hearing a favor by heeding their advice.

Sign #6: You hear ringing in your ears (or experience vertigo)

Ringing in your ears is a condition called tinnitus. It isn’t at all unusual. There are a couple of reasons why you might experience more ringing in your ears when you have hearing loss:

  • Both can be caused by damage: Damage causes both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So you’re more likely to develop tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
  • Hearing loss can make tinnitus more noticeable: In your typical day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you experience. But as hearing loss makes those background sounds quieter, tinnitus symptoms come to the front.

It could be a sign that you’re dealing with issues with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance problems and vertigo. And that means (no shock here), yes, you should come see us for a hearing test.

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 once was.

Your hearing might 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 works overtime to fill in those gaps. This is fatiguing (no matter how good your brain is), particularly over the long run. So when you’re in particularly strenuous situations (like a noisy space), you might experience even more fatigue.

The first step is calling us for an appointment

Honestly, hearing damage is normal to everybody to some degree. Exactly how much (and how frequently you were wearing hearing protection) may have a big 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 a sign that the banana is changing. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and contact us for an appointment. 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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