You know what it’s like to try to ignore a toothache? It can be pretty hard. Before long, you end up having no alternative but to see a dentist. The same thing happens when your eyesight starts to lose focus. You’ll probably call an ophthalmologist when you begin to have problems reading street signs. The concern is, you may not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing starts to go.
And that could be an oversight. Neglected hearing loss can be responsible for considerable health concerns (particularly mental problems). Naturally, you can only ignore your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s difficulty number two.
You May Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We tend to take our hearing for granted. A high volume music event? No biggie. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you like your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be considerably impacted by each of these decisions, especially in the long run.
Unfortunately, those impacts could be hard to notice. Hearing loss can sneak up on you incrementally, with symptoms that progress so gradually as to be basically invisible. That’s why it’s a good idea to be familiar with some primary red flags (and to take care of them sooner than later):
- You notice unexpected problems with short term memory
- When you listen to casual speech, you have a particularly difficult time making out consonants
- It’s hard to follow conversations in noisy or crowded surroundings
- You keep cranking up the volume on your television, car stereo, or your cellphone
- You have a difficult time falling asleep at night and feel exhausted for no apparent reason
- You frequently have to ask people to repeat what they said
- Distorted or dull sounding voices from people around you (co-workers, family, friends)
- You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you need the volume up too high
These symptoms, red flags, or warnings are all rather well known. If your hearing loss comes on especially gradually, your brain will instantly begin to compensate for any hearing loss that occurs, making you somewhat unaware, at first, to your symptoms. That’s the reason why you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional because these warning signs should be taken seriously.
What Happens if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Some people are, certainly, stubborn. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is just too unwelcome. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some kind of immediate marker for old age (as if constantly asking somebody to speak louder is a sign of unending youth). But that isn’t really the case (most hearing aids can be very discreet, and being able to converse fluently is a benefit, too).
Still, if you neglect hearing loss it could result in numerous problems:
- You could cause your hearing to worsen: If you don’t utilize hearing aids or increased hearing protection, You’ll keep turning up your devices. Or you’ll keep going to rock shows without any earplugs. And your hearing will keep declining as you continue doing harm to your ears.
- You could have strained relationships: When you have a tough time comprehending what your friends and relatives are saying, something can change in the relationship: you give up speaking with them. You don’t call to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s going on with them, you withdraw. And that can hurt some of those relationships, specifically if the issue is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not because you’re mad at them).
- You could suffer from depression and cognitive decline: As your relationships falter and going out gets more difficult, you may start to notice symptoms of depression. You may also start to go through some cognitive decline without the auditory stimulation your brain is used to, certain changes start to take place within your neural physiology. If your hearing loss isn’t treated, it can lead to longterm cognitive worries.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Neglected
Down the road, clearly, bigger and more substantial problems can be brought about by hearing loss. Conversely, your quality of life can be significantly improved by recognizing and dealing with your hearing loss. When you can hear, your relationships get better and your every day life seems fuller. And your overall health will be enhanced by consulting a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
You definitely shouldn’t ignore the health concern of hearing loss. A happier life starts when you find the right treatment. Take care of your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.