Have you ever attempted to disregard a toothache? It can be pretty difficult. At some point, you’re absolutely begging to go see a dentist. And when your eyesight begins to lose focus it’s the same. You’ll probably call an ophthalmologist when you begin to have trouble reading street signs. The concern is, you may not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing starts to go.
This would more than likely be a mistake. There are significant health issues (particularly mental health problems) that can develop as a consequence of neglected hearing loss. Regrettably, it’s pretty difficult to address your diminishing hearing if you don’t know about it. And there’s the second problem.
You Could Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We often take our hearing for granted. A loud concert? No worry. Blaring ear pods? That’s just how you prefer your podcasts. But each of those decisions, particularly in the long run, will have a significant affect on your overall hearing.
Regrettably, those impacts might be difficult to detect. The symptoms of hearing loss can be virtually invisible because they creep up so slowly over time. So you should take some time to educate yourself on some basic red flags (and to be certain you don’t ignore them):
- You consistently blow the speakers in your earpods because you need the volume up too loud
- You find yourself asking individuals around you to repeat what they said frequently
- It’s difficult to understand conversations in loud or crowded environments
- Distorted or dull sounding voices from individuals near you (family, co-workers, friends)
- You feel an unexplained sense of fatigue or have excessive trouble falling asleep at night
- You keep turning up the volume on your car stereo, television, or your smartphone
- You notice unexpected issues with short term memory
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have an especially hard time making out consonants
It’s pretty well known what these red flags and signs indicate. At first, you will be somewhat ignorant of your symptoms, particularly if they come on slowly, because your brain will immediately start to compensate. That’s why you should make an appointment with your hearing care professional because these warning signs should be taken seriously.
What Happens if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Indeed, some people are quite stubborn. Or they just don’t favor the idea of wearing a hearing aid. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some sort of direct sign for old age (as if constantly asking someone to speak louder is a sign of never ending youth). But in reality, most contemporary hearing aids are virtually undetectable (and it doesn’t hurt when you can hear and take part in conversations).
Even so, it’s worth discussing what could take place if you neglect your hearing loss:
- Your hearing might worsen: If you don’t use hearing aids or enhanced ear protection, you’ll keep cranking the volume on your television up. Or you’ll keep intending to rock shows without any earplugs. Which means you’ll keep doing harm to your ears and your hearing will almost definitely continue to decline because of it.
- You may have tense relationships: There’s something that occurs when you have a difficult time understanding your friends and family: you begin having fewer interactions with them. You quit saying hi, you quit checking in, you pull away. And that can ruin some of those relationships, particularly if the problem is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not some unspoken animosity).
- You could suffer from cognitive decline and depression: As your relationships falter and going out becomes more difficult, you might start to experience symptoms of depression. You might also begin to go through some mental decline if your brain doesn’t get the auditory activation that it’s used to, certain changes begin to take place in your neural physiology. If your hearing loss isn’t treated, it can bring about longterm cognitive concerns.
Don’t Neglect Your Hearing Loss
In the future, clearly, bigger and more significant issues can be brought about by hearing loss. But the opposite is true: recognizing and dealing with your hearing loss can improve your quality of life substantially. When you can hear, your relationships improve and your daily life seems fuller. And improving your awareness, either by consulting a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can improve your overall hearing health.
You absolutely shouldn’t ignore the health problem of hearing loss. The sooner you find the right treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.