Texas Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists, LLP - Bedford, Grapevine, Southlake, and Flower Mound, TX

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

Bananas don’t taste like they once did. That’s because modern banana farmers grow an exceptionally different type of banana then they did in the past. These new bananas grow faster, are more resilient, and can prosper in a wider range of climates. And they taste very different. So why haven’t you noticed the great banana exchange? Well, the truth is that it developed slowly, over time. You never noticed the gradual switch.

Hearing loss can occur in the same way. It isn’t like you get up one day and can’t hear a thing. For the majority of people, hearing loss develops gradually, often so slowly that you don’t really realize what’s taking place.

That’s unfortunate because early treatment can help maintain your hearing. If you are aware that your hearing is at risk, for example, you might take more precautions to protect it. So it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for these seven signs of waning hearing.

7 signs you should get a hearing exam

Hearing loss develops slowly and over time, but it’s not always well understood. It’s not like you’ll go to a noisy rock concert and the next day find yourself entirely unable to hear. Damage to your hearing (from that rock concert and other loud noises) increases over time. The sooner you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to an increased risk of issues including dementia, social solitude, and depression, so it’s not something you should mess around with.

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

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

Do you find yourself frequently reaching for the volume controls? Sure, possibly it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have started mumbling, or that the sound mixing on TV shows is dramatically different than it used to be. But it’s also possible (if not likely) that you’re hearing is gradually degrading, 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 high this is particularly likely. They can usually notice hearing trouble in you sooner than you can.

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

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

  • Your doorbell (or a knock on the door): When your best friend unexpectedly walks into your house, consider the possibility that they did actually knock, you just missed it.
  • Alarms and timers: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get burned? It may not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is not loud enough.
  • Your phone: Are you missing text messages? You’re more likely to miss text messages than calls since nobody makes calls these days.

If your family and friends have mentioned that they’re a little afraid of driving with you because you miss so many day to day sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing test.

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

Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re always 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 don’t hear them this is particularly relevant. Seems like a hearing test is in order.

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

This one goes fairly well with #3 and we may even call it #3-A. If it sounds like everyone around you is constantly mumbling or saying something 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 stuff about you). Alternatively, it’s more likely that you’re just having a hard time hearing what they’re saying.

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

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

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.

We understand that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this recommendation away. Maybe you think they just caught you on a bad day or something. But heeding their advice could preserve the health of your hearing.

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

Ringing in your ears is a condition known as 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 trigger both: Damage triggers both tinnitus and loss of hearing. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to suffer from both hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Hearing loss can make tinnitus more noticeable: In your ordinary 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 an indication that you’re experiencing problems with your ears, either way, if you have loud noises in your ears or balance issues and vertigo. And that means (no shock here), yes, you need to come see us for a hearing test.

Sign #7: Socializing leaves you feeling depleted

Perhaps the reason why social interactions 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 drained, your hearing (or lack thereof) could be the cause. When there are gaps in what you hear, your brain works overtime to fill in those holes. This extra effort by your brain can leave you feeling depleted. So you might experience even more fatigue when you’re in an especially noisy setting.

Start by coming to see us

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

So it might be an indication that the banana is changing if you encounter any of these signs. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and give us a call 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.