Have you ever attempted to disregard a toothache? They can be rather tough. After a while, you end up having no other option but to see a dentist. The same thing takes place when your eyesight starts to lose focus. You’ll probably contact an ophthalmologist when you begin to have problems reading street signs. The concern is, you may not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing begins to go.
And that could be an error in judgment. Neglected hearing loss can be responsible for significant health problems (particularly mental problems). Naturally, you can only ignore your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s problem number two.
You Could Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We tend to take our hearing for granted. A loud concert? No big deal.. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you prefer your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be substantially impacted by all of these choices, particularly over time.
Sadly, those impacts might be difficult to detect. The symptoms of hearing loss can be almost invisible because they creep up so slowly over time. So you should take some time to learn some primary red flags (and to take care of them sooner than later):
- You regularly have to ask people to repeat themselves
- You can’t maintain a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- You have a difficult time falling asleep at night and feel tired for no apparent reason
- It’s difficult to understand conversations in loud or crowded environments
- You always have to turn up the volume on your devices
- You have a particularly difficult time hearing consonants when listening to everyday speech
- Voices of those around you (family, co-workers, friends) sounds dull or distorted
- You experience unexpected problems with short term memory
It’s fairly well known what these red flags and signs mean. If your hearing loss comes on particularly slowly, your brain will immediately start compensating for any hearing loss that develops, making you rather unaware, at first, to your symptoms. That’s why any of these warning signs should be taken seriously, which means you should make an appointment to see your hearing professional.
What Happens if You Neglect Your Hearing Loss?
Some individuals are, certainly, stubborn. Or they simply don’t like the thought of wearing a hearing aid. They maintain this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some kind of direct marker for old age (as if continuously asking someone to speak up is a sign of unending youth). But in reality, most modern hearing aids are practically undetectable (and it’s helpful when you can understand and take part in conversations).
Even so, it’s worth talking about what could happen if you neglect your hearing loss:
- You could cause your hearing to worsen: Without a hearing aid or increased ear protection, You’ll continue to turn up your devices. Or you’ll keep going to rock shows without any earplugs. Which means you’ll keep doing damage to your ears and your hearing will almost definitely continue to decline because of it.
- Your relationships could diminish: There’s something that takes place when you have a hard time comprehending your family and friends: you give up speaking with them. You quit saying hi, you quit checking in, you pull away. And that can damage some of those relationships, particularly if the problem is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not because you’re angry at them).
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: You may start to discover symptoms of depression as your relationships falter and going out gets more challenging. You may also begin to go through some mental decline if your brain doesn’t get the auditory activation that it’s used to, certain changes start to take place in your neural physiology. This can result in long term cognitive challenges if your hearing loss isn’t treated.
Don’t Ignore Your Hearing Loss
Down the road, clearly, bigger and more substantial issues can be brought about by hearing loss. On the other hand, your quality of life can be substantially improved by recognizing and managing your hearing loss. Your daily life is more full and your relationships improve when you start to hear better. And your overall health will be improved by seeing a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
Hearing loss is definitely a health condition you shouldn’t neglect. A happier life starts when you find the proper treatment. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.