You know what it’s like to attempt to ignore a toothache? It can be pretty hard. Eventually, you’re absolutely pleading to go see a dentist. And when your eyesight starts to lose focus it’s the same. When you have difficulties reading street signs, you’ll most likely schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist. The problem is, you may not show quite so much urgency when your hearing begins to go.
And that may be an oversight. Untreated hearing loss can be responsible for considerable health issues (especially mental problems). Regrettably, it’s pretty difficult to address your diminishing hearing if you aren’t aware of 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 loud concert? No big deal.. Blaring ear pods? That’s just how you enjoy your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be considerably impacted by each of these decisions, especially over time.
It can, regrettably, be hard to notice these impacts. Hearing loss can sneak up on you gradually, with symptoms that advance so slowly as to be essentially 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 themselves quite often
- You feel an unexplained sense of exhaustion or have excessive trouble falling asleep at night
- You always need to turn up the volume on your devices
- Your short term memory seems to suddenly fail now and then
- Distorted or dull sounding voices from individuals near you (co-workers, family, friends)
- When you’re in a crowded noisy environment you have a difficult time keeping up with conversations
- You have a particularly difficult time making out consonants when listening to everyday speech
- You consistently blow the speakers in your earpods because you need the volume up too high
These signs, red flags, or warnings are all fairly well recognized. At first, you will be somewhat oblivious to your symptoms, especially if they come on slowly, because your brain will immediately start to compensate. That’s why any of these warning symptoms should be taken seriously, which means you need to make an appointment to see your hearing specialist.
What Going to Happen if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Some individuals are, certainly, stubborn. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is just too undesirable. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some kind of direct marker for old age (as though continuously asking someone to speak up is a signifier of unending youth). But that isn’t actually the case (most hearing aids can be very discreet, and being capable of conversing fluently is a benefit, also).
Still, if you ignore hearing loss it may lead to numerous issues:
- You may have tense relationships: When you have a tough time comprehending what your friends and relatives are saying, something can change in the relationship: you begin having fewer conversations with them. You stop saying hi, you quit checking in, you distance yourself. Some of those relationships will be damaged, especially if the issue is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not because you’re mad at them).
- Your hearing could get worse: If you don’t use hearing aids or increased hearing protection, you’ll keep turning the volume on your television up. Or you’ll keep intending to rock shows without any earplugs. And your hearing will continue diminishing as you keep doing damage to your ears.
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: You might begin to discover symptoms of depression as your relationships falter and going out gets harder. You might also start to experience some mental decline without the auditory activation your brain is used to, certain changes start to take place in your neural physiology. If your hearing loss isn’t treated, it can bring about longterm cognitive concerns.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Neglected
Surely, ignoring your hearing loss can cause bigger and more significant issues in the future. Conversely, your quality of life can be substantially improved by acknowledging and dealing with your hearing loss. Your daily life is more full and your relationships improve when you start to hear better. And your overall health will be enhanced by seeing a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
Hearing loss is certainly a health condition you shouldn’t dismiss. The sooner you find the right treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.