You know what it’s like to attempt to ignore a toothache? It can be pretty hard. After a while, you end up having no other option but to consult a dentist. The same thing happens when your eyesight starts to lose focus. You’ll probably contact an ophthalmologist when you start to have trouble reading street signs. But the concern is, when your hearing starts to go you might not have such urgency.
This would probably be a mistake. Untreated hearing loss can be the reason for considerable health problems (specifically mental problems). Of course, you can only ignore your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s difficulty number two.
Signs You Could Have Hearing Loss
We normally don’t appreciate our hearing. A high volume music event? No big deal.. Blaring ear pods? You like to listen to your podcasts this way. But your overall hearing will be considerably affected by all of these choices, particularly over time.
It can, unfortunately, be hard to notice these impacts. Hearing loss can sneak up on you gradually, with symptoms that progress so slowly as to be basically invisible. So you should take some time to educate yourself on some primary red flags (and to deal with them sooner than later):
- Speech of those around you (friends, family, co-workers) sounds muffled or distorted
- You have an especially difficult time hearing consonants when listening to casual speech
- You regularly have to ask people to repeat what they said
- You can’t maintain a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- It’s challenging to understand conversations in loud or crowded settings
- You have a hard time falling asleep at night and feel exhausted for no apparent reason
- Your short term memory tends to suddenly fail now and then
- You usually need to turn up the volume on your devices
These signs, red flags, or warnings are all pretty well known. At first, you will be somewhat ignorant of your symptoms, especially if they come on gradually, because your brain will immediately begin to compensate. That’s why all of these warning symptoms should be taken seriously, which means you should schedule an appointment to see your hearing specialist.
What Happens if You Neglect Your Hearing Loss?
Some people are, certainly, stubborn. Or they just don’t like the thought of wearing a hearing aid. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some sort of immediate marker for old age (as though constantly asking someone to speak louder is a signifier of unending youth). But that isn’t really the case (the majority of hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being capable of conversing fluently is a boon, also).
Nevertheless, it’s worth talking about what could take place if you ignore your hearing loss:
- Your hearing may worsen: Without a hearing aid or increased hearing protection, You’ll keep turning up your devices. Or you won’t utilize earplugs when you attend rock concerts. And your hearing will keep declining as you continue to do damage to your ears.
- You may have strained relationships: When you have a tough time understanding what your family and friends are saying, something can change in the relationship: you begin having fewer conversations with them. You don’t call to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s going on with them, you withdraw. Some of those relationships will be hurt, especially if no one has any clue that the root cause is loss of hearing (and not because you’re mad at them).
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: As your relationships fray and going out gets more difficult, you may begin to detect signs of depression. You might also begin to experience some mental decline without the auditory activation your brain is used to, certain changes start to take place in your neural physiology. If your hearing loss isn’t addressed, it can bring about longterm cognitive concerns.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Neglected
In the future, clearly, bigger and more significant issues can be caused by hearing loss. Conversely, your quality of life can be significantly improved by acknowledging and dealing with your hearing loss. When you can hear, your relationships get better and your daily life seems more full. And improving your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can improve your overall hearing health.
Hearing loss is certainly a health condition you shouldn’t dismiss. A happier life begins when you find the correct treatment. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.