You know what it’s like to attempt to disregard a toothache? It can be very difficult. Eventually, you’re absolutely pleading to go to the dentist. The same thing takes place when your eyesight begins to lose focus. When you have trouble reading street signs, you’ll likely make a consultation with an ophthalmologist. But the concern is, when your hearing begins to go you may not have such urgency.
This would probably be an oversight. Neglected hearing loss can be the reason for significant health issues (particularly mental problems). Regrettably, it’s pretty difficult to address your diminishing hearing if you aren’t aware of it. And that’s problem number two.
Signs You Might Have Hearing Loss
We typically don’t appreciate our hearing. A loud concert? No worry. Blaring ear pods? That’s just how you enjoy your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be substantially affected by every one of these decisions, especially over time.
Regrettably, those impacts might be difficult to notice. Hearing loss can sneak up on you gradually, with symptoms that advance so slowly as to be essentially invisible. So you should take some time to educate yourself on some basic red flags (and to take care of them sooner than later):
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have a particularly difficult time making out consonants
- It’s difficult to follow conversations in noisy or crowded settings
- Distorted or dull sounding speech from people around you (family, co-workers, friends)
- You encounter sudden issues with short term memory
- You consistently blow the speakers in your earpods because you have the volume up too high
- You keep cranking up the volume on your car stereo, television, or your cellphone
- You frequently have to ask people to repeat themselves
- You have a difficult time falling asleep at night and feel tired for no reason
It’s fairly well known what these red flags and symptoms mean. If your loss of hearing comes on particularly gradually, your brain will immediately start compensating for any hearing loss that occurs, 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 signs should be taken seriously.
If You Neglect Your Hearing Loss, What Will Happen?
Indeed, some people are quite stubborn. Or they simply don’t like the thought of wearing a hearing aid. They believe that wearing hearing aids causes them to appear old. 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 occur if you ignore your hearing loss:
- You could cause your hearing to worsen: Without a hearing aid or enhanced ear protection, You’ll keep turning up your devices. Or you’ll keep intending to rock concerts without any earplugs. Which means you’ll continue doing damage to your ears and your hearing will almost certainly keep declining because of it.
- You could have tense relationships: There’s something that takes place when you have a difficult time comprehending your friends and relatives: you begin having fewer interactions with them. You stop calling to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s happening with them, you disengage. And that can hurt some of those relationships, particularly if the issue is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not some unspoken animosity).
- Depression and cognitive decline could result: As your relationships falter and going out becomes more challenging, you might begin to notice signs of depression. You may also begin to experience some cognitive decline if your brain doesn’t receive the auditory activation that it’s used to, certain changes begin to take place in your neural physiology. This can bring about long term cognitive problems if your hearing loss isn’t treated.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Ignored
Clearly, neglecting your hearing loss can cause bigger and more substantial problems down the road. But the opposite is true: recognizing and dealing with your hearing loss can improve your quality of life significantly. When you can hear, your relationships improve and your daily life seems fuller. And increasing your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can improve your complete hearing health.
You definitely shouldn’t ignore the health concern of hearing loss. A happier life starts when you find the correct treatment. Deal with your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.