You know what it’s like to try to ignore a toothache? They can be quite tough. Sooner or later, you’re absolutely begging to go see a dentist. And when your eyesight begins to lose focus it’s the same. When you have trouble reading street signs, you’ll probably make an appointment with an ophthalmologist. The concern is, you may not show quite so much urgency when your hearing begins to go.
And that could be an oversight. There are appreciable health issues (especially mental health issues) that can develop as a consequence of untreated hearing loss. Regrettably, it’s pretty difficult to address your diminishing hearing if you don’t know about it. And there’s the second challenge.
You Might Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We normally take our hearing for granted. A high volume music festival? No biggie. Blasting ear pods? You like to listen to your podcasts this way. But your overall hearing will be considerably impacted by all of these choices, particularly in the long run.
It can, unfortunately, be difficult to notice these impacts. The indications of hearing loss can be nearly invisible because they creep up so slowly over time. So you should take some time to learn some primary red flags (and to make sure you don’t ignore them):
- You find yourself asking individuals around you to repeat themselves frequently
- You have a hard time falling asleep at night and feel tired for no reason
- You have a particularly difficult time making out consonants when listening to casual speech
- Your short term memory seems to suddenly fail sometimes
- You usually have to crank up the volume on your devices
- When you’re in a crowded noisy situation you have a difficult time keeping up with conversations
- Speech of those around you (family, co-workers, friends) sounds dull or distorted
- You can’t keep a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
It’s pretty well known what these red flags and symptoms indicate. At first, you will be somewhat oblivious to your symptoms, particularly if they come on slowly, because your brain will immediately start to compensate. That’s the reason why you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care specialist because these warning signs should be taken seriously.
What Going to Happen if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Indeed, some individuals are very obstinate. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is just too undesirable. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some sort of immediate sign for old age (as if continuously asking somebody to speak up is a signifier of unending youth). But that isn’t actually the situation (the majority of hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being able to converse fluently is a boon, too).
Still, it’s worth discussing what could happen if you neglect your hearing loss:
- Your hearing may worsen: If you don’t use hearing aids or enhanced ear protection, You’ll continue to turn up your devices. Or you won’t use earplugs when you go to rock concerts. Which means you’ll keep doing damage to your ears and your hearing will almost certainly keep declining because of it.
- You may have strained relationships: There’s something that happens when you have a hard time understanding your friends and relatives: you start having fewer conversations with them. You stop calling to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s going on with them, you withdraw. And that can ruin some of those relationships, especially if the problem is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not some unspoken bitterness).
- Depression and cognitive decline could result: You may begin to detect symptoms of depression as your relationships falter and going out gets more challenging. You may also begin to go through some cognitive decline if your brain doesn’t get the auditory stimulation that it’s used to, certain changes begin to take place in your neural physiology. If your hearing loss isn’t dealt with, it can bring about longterm cognitive challenges.
Don’t Neglect Your Hearing Loss
Surely, neglecting your hearing loss can cause bigger and more substantial problems in the future. But the inverse is true: acknowledging and treating your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life substantially. When you can hear, your relationships improve and your every day 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.
Hearing loss is certainly a health condition you shouldn’t neglect. The sooner you find the correct treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.