Have you ever tried to disregard a toothache? They can be rather tough. At some point, you end up having no alternative but to consult a dentist. The same thing occurs when your eyesight begins to lose focus. When you have trouble reading street signs, you’ll most likely schedule a consultation with an ophthalmologist. But the issue is, when your hearing starts to go you might not show such urgency.
And that may be an error in judgment. There are considerable health problems (particularly mental health problems) that can happen as a result of untreated hearing loss. Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to address your diminishing hearing if you don’t know about it. And there’s the second problem.
You May Have Hearing Loss if You Detect These Symptoms
We often take our hearing for granted. A high volume music festival? No biggie. Blaring ear pods? You prefer to listen to your podcasts like this. But your overall hearing will be substantially affected by every one of these decisions, especially in the long run.
Unfortunately, those impacts could be difficult to detect. Hearing loss can creep up on you gradually, with symptoms that advance so slowly as to be effectively invisible. That’s why it’s a smart idea to be familiar with some primary red flags (and to make sure you don’t neglect them):
- When you’re in a crowded noisy environment you have a tough time keeping up with conversations
- You feel an inexplicable sense of exhaustion or have excessive difficulty falling asleep at night
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have a particularly hard time hearing consonants
- Your short term memory tends to suddenly fail now and then
- Speech of those near you (family, co-workers, friends) sounds dull or distorted
- You find yourself asking people around you to repeat what they said frequently
- You always need to turn up the volume on your devices
- You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you have the volume up too loud
These signs, red flags, or warnings are all fairly well recognized. If your loss of hearing comes on especially gradually, your brain will instantly start compensating for any hearing loss that occurs, making you rather unaware, at first, to your symptoms. That’s the reason why you should make an appointment with your hearing care specialist because these warning symptoms should be taken seriously.
If You Neglect Your Hearing Loss, What’s Going Happen?
Some people are, indeed, stubborn. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is just too unwelcome. They maintain this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some kind of direct sign for old age (as though constantly asking somebody to speak louder is a sign of never ending youth). But that isn’t actually the case (most hearing aids can be very discreet, and being capable of conversing fluently is a benefit, too).
Nevertheless, it’s worth discussing what could occur if you neglect your hearing loss:
- Your hearing could worsen: If you don’t utilize hearing aids or enhanced ear protection, you’ll keep turning the volume on your television up. Or you’ll keep going to rock concerts without any earplugs. Which means you’ll keep doing harm to your ears and your hearing will almost definitely continue to decline because of it.
- Your relationships could diminish: There’s something that takes place when you have a difficult time comprehending your family and friends: you begin having fewer conversations with them. You quit saying hi, you stop checking in, you pull away. And that can damage some of those relationships, especially if no one has any clue that the underlying cause is loss of hearing (and not some unexpressed animosity).
- Depression and cognitive decline could result: As your relationships falter and going out becomes more difficult, you might start to experience symptoms of depression. You may also begin to experience some mental decline without the auditory stimulation your brain is 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 treated.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Ignored
Unmistakably, neglecting your hearing loss can cause bigger and more significant problems down the road. But the inverse is true: recognizing and dealing with your hearing loss can improve your quality of life considerably. When you hear better, your relationships improve and your daily life seems fuller. And increasing your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can enhance your overall hearing health.
You definitely shouldn’t ignore the health concern of hearing loss. The sooner you find the right treatment, the happier you’ll be. Take care of your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.