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Audiology Specialty Clinic - Sioux Falls, SD

Man sitting on couc watching television holding the remote to turn up the volume because of hearing loss.

Bananas taste much different then they did in the past. That’s because today’s banana farmers grow a really different variety of banana then they did in the past. Today’s banana can grow successfully in a large number of climates, are more resilient, and can sprout faster. They don’t taste the same either. So how did this swap happen without us detecting it? Well, the change wasn’t a fast one. The change was so slow you never noticed.

The same thing can happen with your ears and hearing loss. It’s not like all of a sudden your hearing is entirely gone. In most cases of hearing loss, it goes unobserved because it develops so slowly.

That’s unfortunate because early intervention can help preserve your hearing. If you know that your hearing is at risk, for instance, you may 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 thoroughly grasped as it happens slowly over time. It’s not like you’ll be completely unable to hear the day after you went to that big rock concert. 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. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to an increased danger of issues like dementia, social isolation, and depression, so it’s not something you should mess around with.

These seven signs are what you should be paying attention to out for. A hearing exam is the only way to be sure, but maybe these warning signs will motivate you to take some early action.

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

Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Maybe they’re mixing the sound 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 increasing the volume of your favorite TV show or music to compensate.

If others keep telling you the TV is too high this is especially likely. They can often spot hearing issues in you sooner than you can.

Sign #2: You didn’t hear the phone ringing (or the doorbell)

It could be a sign that you’re having hearing problems if you are continuously missing everyday sounds. Here are some common sounds you could be missing:

  • Somebody knocking on your door or ringing the doorbell: You thought your friend just walked into your house but you in fact missed him knocking.
  • Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock? Did the dinner get burned? 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 nobody makes calls these days.

You’re missing essential 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’re always asking people to repeat what they said

Is “What?” or “Pardon?” your most regularly used words? If you’re regularly needing people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it isn’t because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). If people do repeat what they said and you still can’t hear them this is particularly true. Definitely, time to get a hearing assessment.

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

You could also call this sign #3-A, because they go rather well together. You should know that people probably aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it feel like this. That might be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by individuals who you think are mumbling stuff about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re simply 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 relevant.

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

Your family and friends most likely know you pretty well. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. It’s a good 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 you could do your hearing a favor by taking their advice.

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’s incredibly common. When you have hearing loss, your tinnitus can become profound for a couple of reasons:

  • Damage can cause both: Damage triggers both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So you’re more likely to experience tinnitus and hearing loss the more damaged your hearing is.
  • Hearing loss can make tinnitus more noticeable: In your ordinary day-to-day life, tinnitus can be overpowered by the everyday noises you encounter. 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 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 test.

Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling fatigued

Maybe you’ve always been an introvert at heart, and that’s why social interactions have grown totally draining. Or it might be possible that you’re not hearing as well as you once did.

When you leave a restaurant or a social event feeling utterly exhausted, your hearing (or lack thereof) may be the cause. Your brain is trying to fill in the gaps that you can’t hear. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So you may experience even more fatigue when you’re in an especially noisy setting.

The first step is calling us for an appointment

The truth is that we all encounter some hearing damage during our lives. If or when you develop hearing loss is heavily dependent on how well you protect your ears when you’re subjected to loud noise.

So if you’ve encountered any of these signs, it’s an indication that the banana is changing. Happily, you can take matters into your own hands and give us a call for an appointment. 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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