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Lake Murray Hearing - Columbia and Lexington, SC

Man carrying freshly harvested bananas on his back.

Bananas taste a lot different then they did in the past. That’s because modern banana farmers grow a very different type of banana then they used to. Today’s banana can grow easily in a wide variety of climates, are more resilient, and can grow faster. And they taste very different. So how did this swap happen without us noticing? Well, the change wasn’t a rapid one. The change was so slow you never noticed.

The same thing can occur with your ears and hearing loss. It isn’t like all of a sudden your hearing is totally gone. For the majority of individuals, hearing loss progresses slowly, frequently 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 at risk, for instance, you might take more safeguards to protect it. So it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for these seven signs of waning hearing.

You should have your hearing tested if you notice any of these 7 indicators

Hearing loss happens gradually and over time, but it’s not always well understood. It’s not as if you’ll be totally 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) builds up over time. The earlier you deal with your hearing loss, the better off you’ll be. You shouldn’t put off on this because neglected hearing loss has been linked to problems like social separation, depression, and dementia.

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 turning up the volume on your devices

Do you find yourself continuously reaching for the volume controls? Sure, maybe it’s just that all of your favorite actors and artists have begun to mumble, or that the audio mixing on TV shows is drastically different than it used to be. 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 case if your family has also regularly been telling you that the TV is too loud. They can usually spot hearing problems in you faster than you can.

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

If you’re constantly missing some day to day sounds, that could be an indication of trouble with your ears. A few of the most common sounds you might miss include:

  • Your doorbell (or someone knocking on the door): You thought your friend unexpectedly walked into your house but you in fact missed his knocks.
  • Timers and alarms: Did you sleep through your alarm clock ringing? Did the dinner get burned? It might not be because your cook timer or alarm clock is too quiet.
  • Your phone: Text messages coming to you but you’re missing them? No one calls anymore, so you’re more likely to miss a text message than a phone call.

If your family and friends have pointed out that they’re a little scared of driving with you because you’re missing so many common sounds (from honking horns to the beeping of a truck in reverse), that could be a sign that it’s time for a hearing assessment.

Sign #3: You’re constantly needing people to repeat what they said

Are your most frequently used words “what?” or “pardon?”? If you’re always asking people to repeat themselves, it’s very, very possible it’s not because of them, it’s because of you (and your hearing). This is particularly relevant if people do repeat themselves and you still don’t hear what they’re saying. Looks like a hearing test is needed.

Sign #4: Is everybody starting to mumble?

This one goes pretty well with #3 and we might even call it #3-A. You should recognize that people most likely aren’t mumbling or talking about you under their breath even if your hearing loss is making it feel that way. That might be a relief (it’s no fun to be surrounded by people who you think are mumbling stuff about you). The reality is that you’re just not hearing them due to your hearing loss.

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

Your friends and family probably know you pretty well. And some of them most likely have healthy hearing. If your family members (particularly younger) are telling you that something is wrong with your hearing, it’s a smart idea to listen to them (no pun intended).

We get that it’s all too easy to sort of rationalize this advice away. Perhaps you tell yourself it was just a bad day or whatever. But you could do your hearing a favor by taking their advice.

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

Ringing in your ears is a condition called tinnitus. It’s extremely 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 hearing loss. So the more damaged your hearing system is, the more likely you are to experience both hearing loss and tinnitus.
  • Tinnitus is more obvious when you have hearing loss: In your typical 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 experiencing problems 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 exhausting is because you’ve always been an introvert. Or it may be possible that you’re not hearing as clearly as you once did.

Your hearing may be the reason why you feel wiped out after leaving a restaurant or social affair. When there are interruptions in what you hear, your brain works overtime to fill in those gaps. This additional effort by your brain can leave you feeling exhausted. So when you’re in particularly strenuous situations (such as a noisy space), you may experience even more exhaustion.

Start by coming to see us

The truth is that we all experience some hearing damage in our lifetimes. 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 a sign that the banana is changing. Luckily, you can take matters into your own hands and contact us for an appointment. The sooner your hearing loss is diagnosed, 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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