You know what it’s like to try to disregard a toothache? They can be rather rough. At some point, you’re unquestionably begging to go see a dentist. And when your eyesight begins to lose focus it’s the same. You’ll probably call an ophthalmologist when you start to have problems reading street signs. The problem is, you might not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing starts to go.
This would more than likely be a mistake. There are considerable health issues (especially mental health issues) that can develop due to untreated hearing loss. Obviously, you can only neglect your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s difficulty number two.
You Could Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We normally take our hearing for granted. A loud concert? No worry. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you like your podcasts. But every one of those choices, particularly over time, will have a significant impact on your overall hearing.
Unfortunately, those impacts could be difficult to detect. The signs of hearing loss can be virtually invisible because they creep up so slowly over time. That’s why it’s a smart idea to identify some basic red flags (and to take care of them sooner than later):
- You keep turning up the volume on your car stereo, television, or your smartphone
- It’s challenging to understand conversations in loud or crowded environments
- You experience unexpected issues with short term memory
- You find yourself asking those around you to repeat what they said quite often
- You feel an unexplained sense of fatigue or have excessive trouble falling asleep at night
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have a particularly tough time hearing consonants
- Distorted or dull sounding voices from people near you (co-workers, family, friends)
- You can’t keep a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
These symptoms, red flags, or warnings are all rather well known. If your hearing loss comes on especially slowly, your brain will instantly start compensating for any hearing loss that develops, making you rather unaware, at first, to your symptoms. That’s the reason why you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care specialist because these warning symptoms should be taken seriously.
What Happens if You Neglect Your Hearing Loss?
Indeed, some individuals are very stubborn. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is simply too unwelcome. They maintain this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some kind of immediate sign for old age (as if constantly asking someone to speak louder is a signifier of everlasting youth). But that’s not really the case (most hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being able to converse fluently is a boon, also).
Still, if you neglect hearing loss it could lead to several issues:
- You could have tense relationships: There’s something that happens when you have a hard time comprehending 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. Some of those relationships will be ruined, specifically if no one has any idea that the root cause is hearing loss (and not because you’re angry at them).
- You could cause your hearing to get worse: Without a hearing aid or increased hearing protection, You’ll keep turning up your devices. Or you won’t utilize earplugs when you attend rock concerts. And your hearing will keep diminishing as you keep doing harm to your ears.
- You could suffer from depression and cognitive decline: As your relationships fray and going out gets more difficult, you might start to notice signs of depression. You might also start to go through some mental decline without the auditory activation your brain is used to, your neural physiology starts to experience certain changes. If your hearing loss isn’t dealt with, it can bring about longterm cognitive worries.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Neglected
Clearly, neglecting your hearing loss can cause bigger and more significant issues in the future. But the inverse is true: recognizing and managing your hearing loss can improve your quality of life significantly. When you can hear, your relationships get better and your every day life seems fuller. And your overall health will be enhanced by consulting a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
You definitely shouldn’t neglect 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 becomes too painful to ignore.