You know what it’s like to try to disregard a toothache? They can be rather tough. Eventually, you’re unquestionably pleading to go to the dentist. And when your eyesight starts to lose focus it’s the same. When you have trouble reading street signs, you’ll most likely schedule a consultation with an ophthalmologist. The concern is, you may not show quite so much urgency when your hearing begins to go.
This would probably be a mistake. There are significant health problems (particularly mental health issues) that can develop due to neglected hearing loss. Of course, you can only neglect your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s problem number two.
Indications You May Have Hearing Loss
We often take our hearing for granted. A loud concert? No worry. Blaring ear pods? That’s just how you enjoy your podcasts. But each of those decisions, especially in the long run, will have a considerable affect on your general hearing.
Sadly, those impacts may be difficult to notice. 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):
- You can’t maintain a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- It’s challenging to follow conversations in noisy or crowded environments
- Voices of those around you (family, co-workers, friends) sounds muffled or distorted
- You have an especially hard time making out consonants when listening to everyday speech
- You always need to crank up the volume on your devices
- You have a hard time falling asleep at night and feel exhausted for no reason
- You frequently need to ask people to repeat what they said
- You notice unexpected problems with short term memory
It’s fairly well known what these red flags and symptoms indicate. If your hearing loss comes on especially gradually, your brain will immediately begin to compensate for any hearing loss that develops, making you somewhat unaware, at first, to your symptoms. That’s the reason why you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care specialist because these warning signs should be taken seriously.
If You Ignore Your Hearing Loss, What Will Happen?
Some people are, certainly, obstinate. Or they just don’t like the idea of wearing a hearing aid. They assume that wearing hearing aids makes them look old. But in actuality, most modern hearing aids are virtually invisible (and it doesn’t hurt when you can understand and participate in conversations).
Still, if you ignore hearing loss it may result in numerous issues:
- Your hearing may get worse: Without a hearing aid or increased ear protection, You’ll keep turning up your devices. Or you’ll keep going to rock concerts 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.
- You could have strained relationships: When you have a hard time understanding what your friends and relatives are saying, something can change in the relationship: you begin having fewer interactions with them. You quit saying hi, you quit checking in, you distance yourself. And that can hurt some of those relationships, especially if the issue is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not some unexpressed animosity).
- Depression and cognitive decline could result: As your relationships fray and going out becomes more difficult, you may start to notice symptoms of depression. You may also begin to go through some mental decline without the auditory activation your brain is used to, your neural physiology starts to experience specific changes. This can result in long term cognitive difficulties if your hearing loss isn’t dealt with.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Neglected
In the future, clearly, bigger and more significant issues can be brought about by hearing loss. But the opposite is true: recognizing and dealing with your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life considerably. When you can hear, your relationships get better and your daily life seems fuller. And your general health will be improved by seeing a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
Hearing loss is certainly a health condition you shouldn’t neglect. A happier life starts when you find the proper treatment. Manage your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.