Have you ever tried to disregard a toothache? They can be rather tough. At some point, you end up having no alternative but to see a dentist. The same thing takes place when your eyesight begins to blur. When you have difficulties reading street signs, you’ll likely schedule a consultation with an ophthalmologist. The problem is, you may not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing starts to go.
This would probably be a mistake. There are appreciable health problems (particularly mental health problems) that can happen due to neglected hearing loss. Unfortunately, it’s pretty difficult to address your diminishing hearing if you don’t know about it. And that’s difficulty number two.
Indications You May Have Hearing Loss
We tend to take our hearing for granted. A high volume music event? No worry. Blasting ear pods? You prefer to listen to your podcasts this way. But all of those choices, particularly over time, is going to have a substantial impact on your general hearing.
Regrettably, those impacts could 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 learn some basic red flags (and to take care of them sooner than later):
- You feel an unexplained sense of exhaustion or have excessive difficulty falling asleep at night
- You notice sudden issues with short term memory
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have a particularly tough time making out consonants
- It’s hard to understand conversations in loud or crowded surroundings
- You can’t maintain a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- Distorted or dull sounding voices from individuals around you (family, co-workers, friends)
- You always need to crank up the volume on your devices
- You regularly need to ask people to repeat what they said
These signs, red flags, or warnings are all fairly well recognized. At first, you will be somewhat unaware of your symptoms, especially if they come on slowly, because your brain will immediately start to compensate. That’s why any of these warning symptoms should be taken seriously, which means you should schedule an appointment to see your hearing professional.
What Going to Happen if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Indeed, some individuals are very stubborn. Or they simply don’t favor the thought of wearing a hearing aid. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some sort of immediate sign for old age (as if constantly asking someone to speak louder is a signifier of unending youth). But that isn’t really the case (the majority of hearing aids can be very discreet, and being able to converse fluently is a benefit, also).
Nevertheless, it’s worth discussing what could occur if you ignore your hearing loss:
- Your hearing might get worse: If you don’t utilize hearing aids or increased ear protection, you’ll keep turning the volume on your television higher. Or you won’t utilize earplugs when you go to rock concerts. And your hearing will keep diminishing as you keep to do damage to your ears.
- Your relationships could fray: There’s something that takes place when you have a hard time comprehending your friends and family: you begin having fewer interactions with them. You quit saying hi, you stop checking in, you distance yourself. Some of those relationships will be hurt, especially if no one has any idea that the underlying cause is loss of hearing (and not because you’re mad at them).
- You could go through depression and cognitive decline: As your relationships falter and going out gets more challenging, you may begin to experience signs of depression. You might also start to go through some cognitive decline without the auditory activation your brain is used to, your neural physiology begins to experience specific changes. This can lead to long term cognitive challenges if your hearing loss isn’t treated.
Don’t Neglect Your Hearing Loss
In the future, clearly, bigger and more significant issues can be caused by hearing loss. On the other hand, your quality of life can be significantly improved by recognizing and managing your hearing loss. Your every day life is more full and your relationships improve when you begin to hear better. And increasing your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can enhance your overall hearing health.
You absolutely shouldn’t neglect the health concern of hearing loss. A happier life begins when you find the correct treatment. Take care of your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.