You know what it’s like to try to ignore a toothache? They can be quite rough. Sooner or later, you’re absolutely pleading to go see a dentist. The same thing happens when your eyesight starts to blur. You’ll probably contact an ophthalmologist when you begin to have problems reading street signs. The trouble is, you might not show quite so much urgency when your hearing starts to go.
And that may be an error in judgment. Neglected hearing loss can be the reason for considerable health issues (particularly mental problems). Unfortunately, it’s pretty difficult to address your diminishing hearing if you aren’t aware of it. And there’s the second challenge.
Signs You May Have Hearing Loss
We typically don’t appreciate our hearing. A loud performance? No big deal.. Blasting ear pods? You prefer to listen to your podcasts like this. But every one of those decisions, particularly in the long run, is going to have a significant affect on your overall hearing.
It can, unfortunately, be difficult to notice these impacts. Hearing loss can creep up on you gradually, with symptoms that progress so gradually as to be basically invisible. That’s why it’s a smart idea to be familiar with some basic red flags (and to deal with them sooner than later):
- You always need to turn up the volume on your devices
- You have an especially hard time making out consonants when listening to casual speech
- You feel an unexplained sense of exhaustion or have excessive trouble falling asleep at night
- It’s hard to follow conversations in loud or crowded settings
- Your short term memory tends to suddenly fail now and then
- You can’t maintain a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- You find yourself asking individuals around you to repeat what they said quite often
- Distorted or dull sounding voices from people around you (co-workers, family, friends)
It’s fairly well recognized what these red flags and symptoms mean. At first, you will be somewhat unaware of your symptoms, particularly if they come on slowly, because your brain will instantly start to compensate. That’s why you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care specialist because these warning symptoms should be taken seriously.
What Going to Happen if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Indeed, some people are very obstinate. Or they simply don’t like the idea of wearing a hearing aid. They believe that wearing hearing aids causes them to look old. But that’s not actually the case (the majority of hearing aids can be very discreet, and being able to converse fluently is a boon, also).
Still, it’s worth talking about what might occur if you neglect your hearing loss:
- You could have strained relationships: When you have a hard time understanding what your friends and family are saying, something can change in the relationship: you give up talking to them. You stop calling to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s happening with them, you withdraw. And that can damage some of those relationships, specifically if the issue is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not some unspoken animosity).
- Your hearing may worsen: If you don’t use hearing aids or enhanced hearing protection, you’ll keep turning the volume on your television higher. Or you won’t utilize earplugs when you attend rock concerts. And your hearing will keep declining as you continue to do damage to your ears.
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: As your relationships falter and going out becomes more challenging, you might begin to detect symptoms of depression. You may also start to experience some mental decline without the auditory activation your brain is used to, certain changes start to take place within your neural physiology. This can bring about long term cognitive difficulties if your hearing loss isn’t treated.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Ignored
Surely, ignoring your hearing loss can cause bigger and more substantial problems later on. But the opposite is true: acknowledging and managing your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life significantly. Your every day life is more full and your relationships improve when you start to hear better. And increasing your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can enhance your complete hearing health.
Hearing loss is definitely a health condition you shouldn’t ignore. The sooner you find the correct treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache becomes too painful to ignore.