Have you ever attempted to disregard a toothache? It can be pretty hard. At some point, you’re absolutely begging to go see a dentist. And when your eyesight starts to lose focus it’s the same. You’ll probably contact an ophthalmologist when you start to have difficulty reading street signs. The trouble is, you might not show quite so much urgency when your hearing begins to go.
This would most likely be a mistake. Neglected hearing loss can be the reason for considerable health problems (particularly mental problems). Regrettably, it’s pretty difficult to address your diminishing hearing if you don’t know about it. And that’s difficulty number two.
Signs You May Have Hearing Loss
We normally take our hearing for granted. A high volume music festival? No worry. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you enjoy your podcasts. But all of those choices, particularly over time, is going to have a considerable affect on your overall hearing.
It can, unfortunately, be hard to notice these impacts. The signs of hearing loss can be nearly invisible because they sneak up so slowly over time. That’s why it’s a good idea to be familiar with some primary red flags (and to be certain you don’t ignore them):
- You keep turning up the volume on your television, car stereo, or your cellphone
- Voices of those around you (friends, family, co-workers) sounds muffled or distorted
- You consistently blow the speakers in your earpods because you need the volume up too high
- You have a difficult time falling asleep at night and feel fatigued for no apparent reason
- When you’re in a crowded noisy environment you have a difficult time following conversations
- You experience sudden issues with short term memory
- You find yourself asking individuals around you to repeat what they said frequently
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have a particularly tough time making out consonants
These signs, red flags, or warnings are all fairly well known. At first, you will be somewhat ignorant of your symptoms, particularly if they come on slowly, because your brain will immediately begin to compensate. That’s the reason why any of these warning symptoms should be taken seriously, which means you need to make an appointment to see your hearing specialist.
What Going to Happen if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Some people are, indeed, obstinate. Or they just don’t favor the thought of wearing a hearing aid. They think that wearing hearing aids causes them to appear old. But that isn’t actually the case (most hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being able to converse fluently is a benefit, too).
Still, if you neglect hearing loss it could lead to numerous issues:
- You could have strained relationships: When you have a hard time comprehending what your friends and family are saying, something can change in the relationship: you begin having fewer conversations 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 ruined, especially if no one has any clue that the underlying cause is loss of hearing (and not some unspoken animosity).
- Your hearing could get worse: Without a hearing aid or enhanced ear protection, you’ll keep cranking the volume on your television up. Or you’ll keep going to rock concerts without any earplugs. And your hearing will keep diminishing as you keep to do damage to your ears.
- You could suffer from depression and cognitive decline: As your relationships fray and going out gets more difficult, you may begin to experience symptoms of depression. You may also start to experience some mental decline without the auditory activation your brain is used to, your neural physiology begins to experience specific changes. This can bring about long term cognitive difficulties if your hearing loss isn’t dealt with.
Don’t Neglect Your Hearing Loss
In the future, clearly, bigger and more significant issues can be brought about by hearing loss. But the inverse is true: recognizing and dealing with your hearing loss can improve your quality of life considerably. Your daily life is more full and your relationships get better when you begin to hear better. And improving your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can enhance your complete hearing health.
Hearing loss is definitely a health condition you shouldn’t dismiss. The sooner you find the right treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.