Have you ever tried to ignore a toothache? They can be rather rough. Eventually, you’re unquestionably pleading to go to the dentist. And when your eyesight starts to blur it’s the same. When you have trouble 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 have as much urgency.
And that may be a mistake. There are appreciable health problems (particularly mental health issues) that can happen due to neglected 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.
Indications You Could Have Hearing Loss
We commonly don’t appreciate our hearing. A high volume music festival? No biggie. Blasting ear pods? You prefer to listen to your podcasts like this. But your overall hearing will be considerably affected by all of these decisions, especially over time.
It can, unfortunately, be hard to notice these impacts. Hearing loss can sneak up on you gradually, with symptoms that progress 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 be certain you don’t neglect them):
- You feel an unexplained sense of fatigue or have significant trouble falling asleep at night
- You experience sudden issues with short term memory
- You regularly have to ask people to repeat themselves
- You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you have the volume up too loud
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have a particularly difficult time making out consonants
- It’s challenging to understand conversations in loud or crowded surroundings
- You keep turning up the volume on your television, car stereo, or your cellphone
- Distorted or dull sounding speech from people near you (co-workers, family, friends)
It’s pretty well recognized 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 instantly start to compensate. That’s the reason why you should make an appointment with your hearing care professional because these warning symptoms should be taken seriously.
What Going to Happen if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Indeed, some people are very obstinate. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is just too unwelcome. They maintain this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some sort of immediate sign for old age (as if constantly asking people to speak up is a signifier of unending youth). But in reality, most modern hearing aids are practically unseen (and it’s helpful when you can understand and engage in conversations).
Nevertheless, it’s worth discussing what could happen if you neglect your hearing loss:
- Your hearing may worsen: If you don’t utilize hearing aids or enhanced hearing protection, you’ll keep cranking the volume on your television up. Or you won’t utilize earplugs when you go to rock concerts. And your hearing will keep diminishing as you keep to do harm to your ears.
- You may have strained relationships: There’s something that takes place when you have a difficult time comprehending your friends and relatives: you start having fewer conversations with them. You quit saying hi, you stop checking in, you distance yourself. And that can hurt some of those relationships, specifically if the problem is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not some unexpressed animosity).
- You could go through cognitive decline and depression: As your relationships fray and going out becomes more difficult, you might start to experience signs of depression. You may also begin to experience some cognitive decline without the auditory activation your brain is used to, certain changes begin to take place within your neural physiology. If your hearing loss isn’t treated, it can bring about longterm cognitive challenges.
Don’t Ignore Your Hearing Loss
Down the road, clearly, bigger and more substantial problems can be triggered by hearing loss. But the inverse is true: recognizing and treating your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life substantially. When you hear better, your relationships get better and your daily life seems fuller. And your general health will be improved by consulting a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
You absolutely shouldn’t ignore 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.