Have you ever tried to ignore a toothache? It can be pretty difficult. After a while, you end up having no alternative but to see a dentist. The same thing takes place when your eyesight starts to lose focus. When you have problems reading street signs, you’ll probably make a consultation with an ophthalmologist. But the concern is, when your hearing starts to go you may not have as much urgency.
This would probably be an oversight. There are appreciable health issues (particularly mental health issues) that can happen as a result of untreated hearing loss. Unfortunately, it’s pretty difficult to address your diminishing hearing if you don’t know about it. And there you have the second challenge.
Signs You May Have Hearing Loss
We typically don’t appreciate our hearing. A high volume music festival? No biggie. Blaring ear pods? That’s just how you like your podcasts. But each of those decisions, especially in the long run, will have a substantial affect on your general hearing.
Regrettably, those impacts might be hard to detect. Hearing loss can sneak up on you incrementally, with symptoms that advance so slowly as to be effectively invisible. That’s why it’s a good idea to be familiar with some basic red flags (and to take care of them sooner than later):
- You find yourself asking people around you to repeat what they said quite often
- You consistently blow the speakers in your earpods because you need the volume up too loud
- Distorted or muffled sounding speech from people near you (family, co-workers, friends)
- You keep cranking up the volume on your car stereo, television, or your smartphone
- You have a hard time falling asleep at night and feel fatigued for no reason
- You have a particularly difficult time making out consonants when listening to casual speech
- It’s hard to follow conversations in loud or crowded surroundings
- Your short term memory tends to suddenly fail now and then
These signs, red flags, or warnings are all pretty well known. If your loss of hearing comes on especially slowly, your brain will instantly start compensating for any hearing loss that develops, making you rather oblivious, at first, to your symptoms. That’s why you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care specialist because these warning symptoms should be taken seriously.
What Happens if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Some people are, indeed, obstinate. Or they simply don’t favor the idea of wearing a hearing aid. They think that wearing hearing aids makes them look old. But that isn’t really the case (the majority of hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being capable of conversing fluently is a benefit, also).
Still, if you ignore hearing loss it may result in several problems:
- Your relationships could fray: There’s something that takes place when you have a difficult time understanding your friends and family: you stop speaking with them. You quit saying hi, you stop checking in, you distance yourself. And that can damage some of those relationships, specifically if no one has any clue that the root cause is hearing loss (and not because you’re angry at them).
- Your hearing may get worse: Without a hearing aid or enhanced ear protection, You’ll continue to turn up your devices. Or you’ll keep going to rock concerts without any earplugs. Which means you’ll keep doing harm to your ears and your hearing will almost definitely keep declining because of it.
- You could suffer from depression and cognitive decline: You may start to discover symptoms of depression as your relationships fizzle and going out becomes more challenging. You might also begin to experience some cognitive decline if your brain doesn’t get the auditory stimulation that it’s used to, certain changes begin to take place in your neural physiology. This can result in long term cognitive problems if your hearing loss isn’t managed.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Ignored
In the future, clearly, bigger and more significant issues can be brought about by hearing loss. But the opposite is true: acknowledging and dealing with your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life significantly. When you hear better, your relationships get better and your daily life seems more full. And your general health will be enhanced by consulting a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
Hearing loss is certainly a health condition you shouldn’t ignore. The sooner you find the proper treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.