You know what it’s like to attempt to ignore a toothache? They can be rather rough. Sooner or later, you’re absolutely pleading to go see a dentist. The same thing happens when your eyesight starts to lose focus. You’ll most likely contact an ophthalmologist when you begin to have trouble reading street signs. The problem is, you may not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing starts to go.
This would more than likely be an oversight. Untreated hearing loss can be responsible for considerable health concerns (especially mental problems). Of course, you can only ignore your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s problem number two.
You Might Have Hearing Loss if You Detect These Symptoms
We tend to take our hearing for granted. A high volume music festival? No worry. Blasting ear pods? You prefer to listen to your podcasts like this. But each of those choices, particularly over time, will have a significant impact on your overall hearing.
It can, unfortunately, be hard to detect these impacts. Hearing loss can creep up on you incrementally, with symptoms that advance so gradually as to be basically invisible. So you should take some time to educate yourself on some basic red flags (and to make sure you don’t ignore them):
- You notice unexpected problems with short term memory
- Voices of those near you (family, co-workers, friends) sounds muffled or distorted
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have an especially hard time hearing consonants
- You can’t maintain a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- You feel an inexplicable sense of exhaustion or have significant trouble falling asleep at night
- You always have to crank up the volume on your devices
- It’s challenging to follow conversations in noisy or crowded surroundings
- You find yourself asking people around you to repeat what they said quite often
It’s pretty well known what these red flags and symptoms indicate. At first, you will be somewhat unaware of your symptoms, especially if they come on gradually, because your brain will immediately start to compensate. That’s why you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care specialist because these warning symptoms should be taken seriously.
If You Ignore Your Hearing Loss, What Will Happen?
Indeed, some people are quite stubborn. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is simply too unwelcome. They maintain this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some sort of direct marker for old age (as though continuously asking somebody to speak up is a sign of never ending youth). But in reality, most modern hearing aids are virtually undetectable (and it doesn’t hurt when you can understand and take part in conversations).
Still, it’s worth talking about what could take place if you neglect your hearing loss:
- Your relationships could diminish: When you have a difficult time comprehending what your friends and relatives are saying, something can change in the relationship: you avoid speaking with them. You stop saying hi, you quit checking in, you distance yourself. Some of those relationships will be damaged, especially if no one has any idea that the root cause is hearing loss (and not some unspoken bitterness).
- You could cause your hearing to worsen: If you don’t use hearing aids or increased ear protection, you’ll keep cranking the volume on your television higher. Or you won’t use earplugs when you go to rock concerts. And your hearing will continue declining as you keep doing damage to your ears.
- You could suffer from cognitive decline and depression: You may begin to detect signs of depression as your relationships fizzle and going out gets harder. You may also start to experience some mental decline without the auditory stimulation your brain is used to, your neural physiology begins to experience specific changes. If your hearing loss isn’t treated, it can bring about longterm cognitive challenges.
Don’t Neglect Your Hearing Loss
In the future, clearly, bigger and more substantial issues can be triggered by hearing loss. On the other hand, your quality of life can be considerably 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 general health will be enhanced by seeing a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
Hearing loss is certainly 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.