Have you ever attempted to disregard a toothache? They can be rather tough. Eventually, you’re unquestionably pleading to go see a dentist. The same thing happens when your eyesight starts to blur. You’ll probably contact an ophthalmologist when you start to have trouble reading street signs. But the concern is, when your hearing begins to go you may not have such urgency.
This would probably be a mistake. There are appreciable health issues (particularly mental health issues) that can develop due to neglected hearing loss. Regrettably, it’s pretty hard to address your diminishing hearing if you don’t know about it. And that’s problem number two.
Signs You May Have Hearing Loss
We often take our hearing for granted. A high volume music festival? No biggie. Blasting ear pods? You prefer to listen to your podcasts this way. But each of those decisions, especially over time, will have a significant impact on your overall hearing.
Unfortunately, those impacts could be difficult to notice. Hearing loss can sneak up on you gradually, with symptoms that progress so gradually as to be essentially invisible. That’s why it’s a good idea to identify some primary red flags (and to be certain you don’t ignore them):
- You regularly need to ask people to repeat what they said
- You usually have to crank up the volume on your devices
- You have a hard time falling asleep at night and feel exhausted for no apparent reason
- Distorted or muffled sounding voices from individuals around you (family, co-workers, friends)
- You can’t keep a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- When you’re in a crowded noisy situation you have a difficult time following conversations
- You have a particularly difficult time hearing consonants when listening to casual speech
- Your short term memory seems to suddenly fail sometimes
These symptoms, red flags, or warnings are all rather well recognized. If your loss of hearing comes on particularly gradually, your brain will immediately begin to compensate for any hearing loss that occurs, making you somewhat unaware, at first, to your symptoms. That’s why you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional because these warning signs should be taken seriously.
If You Ignore Your Hearing Loss, What Will Happen?
Some people are, indeed, obstinate. Or they simply don’t favor the idea of wearing a hearing aid. They assume that wearing hearing aids makes them look old. But in reality, most contemporary hearing aids are practically unseen (and it’s helpful when you can hear and participate in conversations).
Even so, it’s worth talking about what could happen if you ignore your hearing loss:
- You may have tense relationships: There’s something that takes place when you have a difficult time understanding your friends and relatives: you begin having fewer conversations with them. You stop saying hi, you quit checking in, you pull away. Some of those relationships will be damaged, especially if the issue is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not because you’re angry at them).
- You could cause your hearing to worsen: Without a hearing aid or enhanced hearing protection, You’ll continue to turn up your devices. Or you’ll keep going to rock concerts without any earplugs. And your hearing will continue diminishing as you continue to do harm to your ears.
- You could suffer from cognitive decline and depression: As your relationships fray and going out gets more challenging, you may start to notice symptoms of depression. You may also start to experience some cognitive decline if your brain doesn’t receive the auditory stimulation that it’s used to, certain changes start to take place within your neural physiology. This can bring about long term cognitive problems if your hearing loss isn’t managed.
Don’t Neglect Your Hearing Loss
Down the road, clearly, bigger and more substantial issues can be triggered by hearing loss. But the opposite is true: acknowledging and managing your hearing loss can improve your quality of life significantly. When you hear better, your relationships get better and your daily life seems more full. And improving your awareness, either by consulting a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can enhance your complete hearing health.
You absolutely shouldn’t ignore 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 gets too painful to ignore.