You know what it’s like to attempt to disregard a toothache? It can be pretty hard. After a while, you end up having no other option but to see a dentist. And when your eyesight begins to blur it’s the same. You’ll probably call an ophthalmologist when you begin to have problems reading street signs. But the concern is, when your hearing begins to go you might not show such urgency.
This would more than likely be a mistake. There are appreciable health problems (particularly mental health issues) that can develop as a result of neglected hearing loss. Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to address your diminishing hearing if you don’t know about it. And there you have the second problem.
You Could Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We tend to take our hearing for granted. A high volume music event? No worry. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you like your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be substantially impacted by every one of these decisions, especially in the long run.
Sadly, those impacts could be difficult to detect. The indications of hearing loss can be virtually invisible because they sneak up so slowly over time. So you should take some time to educate yourself on some basic red flags (and to make sure you don’t neglect them):
- You feel an inexplicable sense of fatigue or have excessive trouble falling asleep at night
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have a particularly hard time making out consonants
- You keep cranking up the volume on your car stereo, television, or your smartphone
- Distorted or dull sounding speech from people around you (co-workers, family, friends)
- You find yourself asking people around you to repeat what they said frequently
- You notice unexpected problems with short term memory
- You can’t keep a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- When you’re in a crowded noisy setting you have a tough time keeping up with conversations
It’s fairly well known what these red flags and symptoms mean. At first, you will be somewhat ignorant of your symptoms, especially if they come on slowly, because your brain will immediately begin to compensate. That’s why you should make an appointment with your hearing care professional because these warning symptoms should be taken seriously.
What Happens if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Some people are, indeed, stubborn. Or they simply don’t like the thought of wearing a hearing aid. They believe that wearing hearing aids makes them look old. But that’s not actually the case (the majority of hearing aids can be very discreet, and being capable of conversing fluently is a benefit, also).
Even so, it’s worth talking about what could take place if you ignore your hearing loss:
- Your hearing could worsen: Without a hearing aid or increased hearing protection, You’ll keep turning up your devices. Or you’ll keep going to rock shows without any earplugs. Which means you’ll continue doing damage to your ears and your hearing will almost definitely continue to decline because of it.
- Your relationships could diminish: There’s something that occurs when you have a hard time understanding your friends and family: you avoid talking to them. You don’t call to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s going on with them, you disengage. And that can ruin some of those relationships, especially if the issue is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not because you’re angry at them).
- You could go through depression and cognitive decline: As your relationships fray and going out gets more difficult, you may start to notice signs of depression. You might also start to go through some mental decline if your brain doesn’t get the auditory activation that it’s used to, your neural physiology begins to experience specific changes. If your hearing loss isn’t treated, it can lead to longterm cognitive worries.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Neglected
Surely, neglecting your hearing loss can cause bigger and more significant issues later on. On the other hand, your quality of life can be significantly improved by recognizing and dealing with your hearing loss. When you hear better, your relationships get better and your every day life seems fuller. And improving your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can enhance your complete hearing health.
Hearing loss is definitely a health condition you shouldn’t neglect. A happier life begins when you find the right treatment. Take care of your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.