You know what it’s like to attempt to ignore a toothache? They can be pretty rough. At some point, you end up having no alternative but to see a dentist. And when your eyesight begins to blur it’s the same. When you have trouble reading street signs, you’ll probably schedule a consultation with an ophthalmologist. But the concern is, when your hearing begins to go you might not have such urgency.
And that may be an oversight. There are appreciable health problems (especially mental health issues) that can develop as a consequence of untreated hearing loss. Obviously, you can only neglect your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s problem number two.
Signs You Might Have Hearing Loss
We tend to take our hearing for granted. A high volume music festival? No big deal.. Blasting ear pods? You prefer to listen to your podcasts like this. But your overall hearing will be substantially impacted by all of these decisions, particularly over time.
It can, regrettably, be difficult to notice these impacts. Hearing loss can creep up on you incrementally, with symptoms that progress so slowly as to be effectively invisible. That’s why it’s a good idea to identify some basic red flags (and to make sure you don’t neglect them):
- You find yourself asking people around you to repeat what they said quite often
- You have an especially difficult time making out consonants when listening to casual speech
- You feel an unexplained sense of exhaustion or have significant difficulty falling asleep at night
- Voices of those around you (family, co-workers, friends) sounds dull or distorted
- You notice sudden problems with short term memory
- You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you have the volume up too high
- You keep cranking up the volume on your television, car stereo, or your smartphone
- It’s challenging to follow conversations in noisy or crowded settings
It’s pretty well recognized what these red flags and symptoms indicate. If your hearing loss comes on especially gradually, your brain will immediately begin to compensate for any hearing loss that occurs, making you somewhat oblivious, at first, to your symptoms. That’s the reason why all of these warning symptoms should be taken seriously, which means you need to schedule an appointment to see your hearing professional.
What Going to Happen if You Neglect Your Hearing Loss?
Indeed, some individuals are quite stubborn. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is simply too unwelcome. They believe that wearing hearing aids causes them to appear old. But in reality, most contemporary hearing aids are practically unseen (and it’s helpful when you can hear and engage in conversations).
Nevertheless, it’s worth discussing what could take place if you neglect your hearing loss:
- Your relationships could fray: When you have a tough time comprehending what your friends and family are saying, something can change in the relationship: you avoid talking to them. You quit saying hi, you quit checking in, you distance yourself. Some of those relationships will be ruined, specifically if the problem is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not because you’re angry at them).
- Your hearing could worsen: Without a hearing aid or increased ear protection, You’ll keep turning up your devices. Or you’ll keep going to rock concerts without any earplugs. And your hearing will continue diminishing as you keep to do damage to your ears.
- You could go through cognitive decline and depression: As your relationships fray and going out gets more challenging, you may begin to detect signs of depression. You may also start to experience some cognitive 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 dealt with, it can bring about longterm cognitive challenges.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Ignored
Down the road, clearly, bigger and more significant problems can be triggered by hearing loss. But the inverse is true: recognizing and managing your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life significantly. Your daily life is more full and your relationships improve when you begin to hear better. And increasing your awareness, either by consulting a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can improve your overall hearing health.
You absolutely shouldn’t neglect the health problem of hearing loss. The sooner you find the proper treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache becomes too painful to ignore.