Have you ever tried to ignore a toothache? They can be quite tough. Before long, you end up having no choice but to consult a dentist. The same thing occurs when your eyesight begins to lose focus. When you have difficulties reading street signs, you’ll likely schedule a consultation with an ophthalmologist. But the concern is, when your hearing starts to go you may not have as much urgency.
And that could be an error in judgment. There are appreciable health problems (especially mental health issues) that can develop as a result 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 Might Have Hearing Loss if You Detect These Symptoms
We normally take our hearing for granted. A loud performance? No worry. Blaring ear pods? That’s just how you like your podcasts. But each of those decisions, particularly over time, is going to have a substantial affect on your overall hearing.
It can, unfortunately, be hard to detect these impacts. Hearing loss can sneak up on you incrementally, with symptoms that progress so gradually as to be essentially invisible. So you should take some time to educate yourself on some basic red flags (and to deal with them sooner than later):
- You feel an unexplained sense of fatigue or have significant difficulty falling asleep at night
- It’s difficult to understand conversations in loud or crowded environments
- You experience unexpected problems with short term memory
- Speech of those near you (family, co-workers, friends) sounds dull or distorted
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have an especially hard time making out consonants
- You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you need the volume up too loud
- You keep cranking up the volume on your television, car stereo, or your cellphone
- You find yourself asking individuals around you to repeat what they said quite often
It’s fairly well known what these red flags and signs indicate. At first, you will be somewhat unaware of your symptoms, especially if they come on slowly, because your brain will instantly begin to compensate. That’s why you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care specialist because these warning symptoms should be taken seriously.
If You Ignore Your Hearing Loss, What’s Going Happen?
Indeed, some people are very stubborn. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is just too undesirable. They maintain this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some sort of direct marker for old age (as if continuously asking someone to speak louder is a signifier of everlasting youth). But that isn’t really the situation (most hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being able to converse fluently is a benefit, too).
Still, if you neglect hearing loss it may result in numerous problems:
- You could cause your hearing to worsen: Without a hearing aid or enhanced ear protection, You’ll continue to turn up your devices. Or you’ll keep intending to rock shows without any earplugs. And your hearing will keep diminishing as you continue doing harm to your ears.
- You may have tense relationships: When you have a hard time understanding what your friends and family are saying, something can change in the relationship: you begin having fewer conversations with them. You don’t call to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s happening with them, you disengage. Some of those relationships will be hurt, particularly if the issue is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not some unexpressed bitterness).
- You could go through cognitive decline and depression: You may start to detect symptoms of depression as your relationships falter and going out gets more challenging. You might also start to go through some cognitive decline if your brain doesn’t get the auditory stimulation that it’s used to, certain changes begin to take place within your neural physiology. This can lead to long term cognitive challenges if your hearing loss isn’t dealt with.
Don’t Neglect Your Hearing Loss
Down the road, clearly, bigger and more substantial issues can be triggered by hearing loss. Conversely, your quality of life can be significantly improved by acknowledging and dealing with your hearing loss. When you can hear, your relationships get better and your every day life seems more full. And increasing your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can improve your overall hearing health.
You definitely shouldn’t ignore the health concern of hearing loss. A happier life starts when you find the right treatment. Deal with your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.