You know what it’s like to attempt to disregard a toothache? It can be pretty difficult. At some point, you’re unquestionably begging to go see a dentist. The same thing happens when your eyesight starts to lose focus. When you have difficulties reading street signs, you’ll most likely make an appointment with an ophthalmologist. The trouble is, you might not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing begins to go.
This would most likely be a mistake. There are appreciable health problems (especially mental health issues) that can happen due to neglected hearing loss. Naturally, you can only ignore your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s problem number two.
You Might Have Hearing Loss if You Detect These Symptoms
We typically don’t appreciate our hearing. A loud concert? No big deal.. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you prefer your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be substantially impacted by all of these choices, especially over time.
It can, regrettably, be hard to detect these impacts. Hearing loss can creep up on you gradually, with symptoms that advance so gradually as to be basically invisible. That’s why it’s a good idea to know some primary red flags (and to deal with them sooner than later):
- You feel an unexplained sense of fatigue or have excessive difficulty falling asleep at night
- Voices of those around you (friends, family, co-workers) sounds dull or distorted
- You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you have the volume up too high
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have an especially hard time making out consonants
- You usually need to crank up the volume on your devices
- You notice sudden problems with short term memory
- You find yourself asking people around you to repeat what they said quite often
- When you’re in a crowded noisy environment you have a tough time following conversations
These symptoms, red flags, or warnings are all pretty well recognized. If your hearing loss comes on especially gradually, your brain will immediately begin to compensate 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 specialist because these warning signs should be taken seriously.
What Going to Happen if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Some people are, certainly, obstinate. Or they simply don’t like the concept of wearing a hearing aid. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some sort of direct marker for old age (as though constantly asking somebody to speak louder is a signifier of everlasting youth). But in reality, most modern hearing aids are practically unseen (and it’s helpful when you can understand and take part in conversations).
Still, it’s worth discussing what could happen if you neglect your hearing loss:
- Your relationships could fray: There’s something that occurs when you have a hard time understanding your friends and family: you give up speaking with them. You don’t call to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s going on with them, you withdraw. And that can hurt some of those relationships, especially if no one has any idea that the root cause is loss of hearing (and not because you’re angry at them).
- You could cause your hearing to worsen: If you don’t use hearing aids or enhanced hearing protection, You’ll continue to turn up your devices. Or you’ll keep intending to rock concerts without any earplugs. And your hearing will continue declining as you continue to do damage to your ears.
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: As your relationships fray and going out becomes more difficult, you might start to notice signs of depression. You might also start to experience some cognitive decline if your brain doesn’t receive the auditory stimulation that it’s used to, certain changes start to take place in your neural physiology. If your hearing loss isn’t treated, it can bring about longterm cognitive challenges.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Neglected
Clearly, ignoring your hearing loss can cause bigger and more substantial issues later on. But the inverse is true: recognizing and treating your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life considerably. Your every day life is more full and your relationships improve when you begin to hear better. And increasing your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can improve your complete hearing health.
Hearing loss is certainly a health condition you shouldn’t ignore. A happier life begins when you find the right treatment. Manage your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.