Have you ever attempted to ignore a toothache? They can be pretty tough. Eventually, you’re unquestionably begging to go see a dentist. The same thing occurs when your eyesight starts to lose focus. When you have problems reading street signs, you’ll probably schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist. But the concern is, when your hearing starts to go you might not show such urgency.
And that may be an oversight. There are significant health problems (particularly mental health problems) that can develop as a consequence of untreated hearing loss. Regrettably, it’s pretty difficult to address your diminishing hearing if you don’t know about it. And that’s problem number two.
You May Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We typically don’t appreciate our hearing. A high volume music event? No big deal.. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you prefer your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be significantly impacted by all of these decisions, especially in the long run.
It can, unfortunately, be difficult to notice these impacts. The indications of hearing loss can be nearly invisible because they sneak up so slowly over time. That’s why it’s a good idea to be familiar with some basic red flags (and to take care of them sooner than later):
- Distorted or dull sounding speech from individuals near you (co-workers, family, friends)
- You feel an inexplicable sense of fatigue or have excessive trouble falling asleep at night
- You frequently need to ask people to repeat themselves
- You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you have the volume up too high
- When you’re in a crowded noisy environment you have a hard time following conversations
- You encounter sudden problems with short term memory
- You usually need to turn up the volume on your devices
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have a particularly tough time hearing consonants
These symptoms, red flags, or warnings are all pretty well known. If your hearing loss comes on particularly gradually, your brain will instantly start compensating for any hearing loss that develops, making you rather oblivious, at first, to your symptoms. That’s the reason why you should make an appointment with your hearing care professional because these warning signs should be taken seriously.
What Happens if You Neglect Your Hearing Loss?
Some individuals are, indeed, stubborn. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is just too unwelcome. They assume that wearing hearing aids makes them look old. But that isn’t actually the situation (the majority of hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being able to converse fluently is a boon, too).
Still, it’s worth talking about what might occur if you neglect your hearing loss:
- Your hearing could worsen: If you don’t use hearing aids or increased hearing protection, you’ll keep turning the volume on your television higher. Or you’ll keep intending to rock concerts without any earplugs. Which means you’ll keep doing damage to your ears and your hearing will almost certainly keep declining because of it.
- Your relationships could diminish: When you have a difficult time comprehending what your family and friends are saying, something can change in the relationship: you begin having fewer interactions with them. You quit saying hi, you stop checking in, you distance yourself. And that can damage some of those relationships, especially if the problem is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not some unexpressed bitterness).
- You could go through cognitive decline and depression: As your relationships fray and going out gets more difficult, you might start to experience signs of depression. You may also start to experience some mental decline if your brain doesn’t receive the auditory activation that it’s used to, your neural physiology starts to experience specific changes. If your hearing loss isn’t dealt with, it can bring about longterm cognitive challenges.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Ignored
Unmistakably, neglecting your hearing loss can cause bigger and more significant problems later on. Conversely, your quality of life can be significantly improved by recognizing and treating your hearing loss. Your every day life is more full and your relationships improve when you start to hear better. And increasing your awareness, either by consulting a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can improve your overall hearing health.
You absolutely shouldn’t neglect the health concern of hearing loss. The sooner you find the right treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.