You know what it’s like to try to disregard a toothache? It can be very difficult. At some point, you’re unquestionably pleading to go see a dentist. The same thing happens when your eyesight starts to blur. You’ll probably contact an ophthalmologist when you start to have trouble reading street signs. But the concern is, when your hearing begins to go you may not show as much urgency.
This would most likely be an oversight. Untreated hearing loss can be responsible for significant health concerns (especially mental problems). Naturally, you can only neglect your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And there you have the second problem.
Signs You Could Have Hearing Loss
We normally don’t appreciate our hearing. A loud concert? No big deal.. Blaring ear pods? You like to listen to your podcasts this way. But your overall hearing will be considerably affected by every one of these decisions, particularly over time.
It can, regrettably, be hard to notice these impacts. The symptoms of hearing loss can be nearly invisible because they creep up so slowly over time. So you should take some time to learn some primary red flags (and to make sure you don’t neglect them):
- You have a difficult time falling asleep at night and feel fatigued for no reason
- Distorted or muffled sounding speech from individuals around you (co-workers, family, friends)
- You notice unexpected issues with short term memory
- It’s difficult to follow conversations in noisy or crowded environments
- You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you need the volume up too high
- You have an especially hard time making out consonants when listening to everyday speech
- You keep turning up the volume on your car stereo, television, or your smartphone
- You find yourself asking those around you to repeat what they said quite often
These signs, red flags, or warnings are all fairly well recognized. At first, you will be somewhat unaware of your symptoms, particularly if they come on slowly, because your brain will immediately start to compensate. That’s why you should make 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 people are very obstinate. Or they simply don’t like the idea of wearing a hearing aid. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some sort of direct sign for old age (as though continuously asking people to speak up is a signifier of everlasting youth). But in reality, most contemporary hearing aids are practically invisible (and it’s helpful when you can understand and participate in conversations).
Still, if you ignore hearing loss it could lead to several issues:
- Your relationships could diminish: There’s something that takes place when you have a hard time understanding your friends and family: you give up talking to them. You stop saying hi, you quit checking in, you pull away. Some of those relationships will be hurt, specifically if the issue is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not because you’re mad at them).
- Your hearing may get worse: If you don’t utilize hearing aids or enhanced ear protection, you’ll keep turning the volume on your television up. Or you won’t utilize earplugs when you attend rock concerts. And your hearing will continue declining as you keep to do damage to your ears.
- You could go through cognitive decline and depression: You may begin to discover signs of depression as your relationships fizzle and going out gets harder. You may also begin to go through some cognitive decline if your brain doesn’t receive the auditory activation that it’s used to, your neural physiology begins to experience certain changes. This can bring about long term cognitive difficulties if your hearing loss isn’t treated.
Don’t Neglect Your Hearing Loss
Down the road, clearly, bigger and more significant problems can be triggered by hearing loss. On the other hand, your quality of life can be substantially improved by recognizing and treating your hearing loss. When you hear better, your relationships improve and your daily life seems more full. And your overall health will be improved by seeing a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
Hearing loss is definitely a health condition you shouldn’t ignore. The sooner you find the correct treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache becomes too painful to ignore.