You know what it’s like to try to ignore 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 start to have difficulty reading street signs. The problem is, you may not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing begins to go.
And that may be an oversight. There are considerable health problems (especially mental health problems) that can develop as a consequence of untreated hearing loss. Of course, you can only ignore your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s difficulty number two.
You Could Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We normally take our hearing for granted. A high volume music event? No big deal.. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you like your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be substantially impacted by every one of these choices, especially in the long run.
It can, unfortunately, be difficult to notice these impacts. Hearing loss can creep up on you incrementally, with symptoms that progress so gradually as to be effectively invisible. That’s why it’s a smart idea to identify some primary red flags (and to deal with them sooner than later):
- It’s challenging to understand conversations in loud or crowded settings
- You can’t maintain a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have a particularly tough time hearing consonants
- You keep cranking up the volume on your car stereo, television, or your smartphone
- You experience unexpected problems with short term memory
- You find yourself asking those around you to repeat themselves quite often
- Distorted or muffled sounding voices from people around you (co-workers, family, friends)
- You have a hard time falling asleep at night and feel tired for no reason
These symptoms, red flags, or warnings are all rather well known. If your hearing loss comes on particularly slowly, your brain will instantly begin to compensate for any hearing loss that develops, making you rather oblivious, at first, to your symptoms. That’s the reason why all of these warning signs should be taken seriously, which means you need to make an appointment to see your hearing professional.
What Going to Happen if You Neglect Your Hearing Loss?
Some people are, certainly, stubborn. Or they simply don’t like the idea of wearing a hearing aid. They believe that wearing hearing aids causes them to appear old. But that’s not really the case (the majority of hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being capable of conversing fluently is a boon, too).
Still, if you ignore hearing loss it could result in numerous problems:
- You could cause your hearing to get worse: If you don’t use hearing aids or increased ear protection, You’ll continue to turn up your devices. Or you won’t utilize earplugs when you go to rock concerts. And your hearing will continue diminishing as you continue to do damage to your ears.
- Your relationships could diminish: There’s something that happens when you have a difficult time comprehending your family and friends: you avoid talking to them. You quit saying hi, you stop checking in, you pull away. Some of those relationships will be ruined, especially if no one has any clue that the root cause is loss of hearing (and not some unspoken bitterness).
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: You might begin to discover signs of depression as your relationships fizzle and going out becomes more challenging. You may also start to experience some cognitive decline without the auditory activation your brain is used to, certain changes start to take place in your neural physiology. This can lead to long term cognitive difficulties if your hearing loss isn’t treated.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Neglected
In the future, clearly, bigger and more substantial problems can be caused by hearing loss. Conversely, your quality of life can be substantially improved by recognizing and managing your hearing loss. Your daily life is more full and your relationships improve when you begin to hear better. And your general health will be improved by consulting a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
Hearing loss is certainly a health condition you shouldn’t ignore. The sooner you find the proper treatment, the happier you’ll be. Manage your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.