You know what it’s like to attempt to disregard a toothache? It can be pretty hard. Eventually, you’re absolutely pleading to go see a dentist. And when your eyesight starts to lose focus it’s the same. When you have trouble reading street signs, you’ll probably schedule a consultation with an ophthalmologist. The problem is, you might not show quite so much urgency when your hearing starts to go.
And that may be an error in judgment. There are considerable health problems (particularly mental health issues) that can happen as a consequence of neglected hearing loss. Of course, you can only ignore your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s difficulty number two.
Signs You Might Have Hearing Loss
We normally take our hearing for granted. A loud performance? No biggie. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you prefer your podcasts. But all of those choices, particularly in the long run, will have a significant impact on your general hearing.
Regrettably, those impacts might be hard to detect. The signs of hearing loss can be nearly invisible because they creep up so slowly over time. That’s why it’s a smart idea to be familiar with some primary red flags (and to deal with them sooner than later):
- You have a particularly difficult time making out consonants when listening to everyday speech
- You can’t keep a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- Your short term memory tends to suddenly fail now and then
- Voices of those around you (friends, family, co-workers) sounds muffled or distorted
- You find yourself asking individuals around you to repeat what they said frequently
- When you’re in a crowded noisy setting you have a hard time following conversations
- You usually have to crank up the volume on your devices
- You feel an unexplained sense of exhaustion or have excessive trouble falling asleep at night
These symptoms, red flags, or warnings are all fairly well recognized. If your loss of hearing comes on especially slowly, your brain will immediately begin to compensate for any hearing loss that occurs, making you somewhat unaware, at first, to your symptoms. 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 Neglect Your Hearing Loss?
Some people are, certainly, stubborn. Or they just don’t favor the idea 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 continuously asking someone to speak up is a sign of unending youth). But that’s not actually the case (most hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being capable of conversing fluently is a benefit, too).
Still, if you ignore hearing loss it may result in several issues:
- 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. Which means you’ll continue doing harm to your ears and your hearing will almost certainly keep declining because of it.
- You could have tense relationships: There’s something that happens when you have a hard time comprehending your family and friends: you give up speaking with them. You stop calling to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s happening with them, you disengage. Some of those relationships will be hurt, specifically if no one has any clue that the underlying cause is hearing loss (and not some unexpressed animosity).
- Depression and cognitive decline could result: As your relationships falter and going out gets more challenging, you might start to detect symptoms of depression. You may also start to experience some cognitive decline if your brain doesn’t receive the auditory stimulation that it’s used to, your neural physiology starts to experience specific changes. This can bring about long term cognitive challenges if your hearing loss isn’t dealt with.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Ignored
Later on, clearly, bigger and more significant problems can be triggered by hearing loss. But the opposite is true: recognizing and managing your hearing loss can improve your quality of life considerably. Your every day life is more full and your relationships get better when you begin to hear better. And your general health will be improved by seeing a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
You definitely shouldn’t neglect the health problem of hearing loss. A happier life begins when you find the proper treatment. Deal with your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.