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 see a dentist. The same thing occurs when your eyesight begins to blur. When you have trouble reading street signs, you’ll most likely make a consultation with an ophthalmologist. The concern is, you might not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing starts to go.
This would probably be an oversight. Untreated hearing loss can be responsible for considerable health problems (especially mental problems). Naturally, you can only neglect your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s problem number two.
You Might Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We commonly don’t appreciate our hearing. A loud concert? No worry. Blaring ear pods? You prefer to listen to your podcasts this way. But all of those choices, particularly over time, will have a significant affect on your overall hearing.
Unfortunately, those impacts could be hard to notice. The signs of hearing loss can be almost invisible because they creep up so slowly over time. That’s why it’s a good idea to be familiar with some primary red flags (and to make sure you don’t ignore them):
- Distorted or dull sounding speech from individuals near you (family, co-workers, friends)
- You usually have to turn up the volume on your devices
- Your short term memory seems to suddenly fail now and then
- It’s hard to understand conversations in loud or crowded environments
- You find yourself asking those around you to repeat what they said frequently
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have an especially hard time making out consonants
- You can’t maintain a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- You have a hard time falling asleep at night and feel tired for no reason
These signs, red flags, or warnings are all rather well known. If your loss of hearing comes on particularly slowly, your brain will immediately begin to compensate for any hearing loss that occurs, making you somewhat oblivious, at first, to your symptoms. That’s the reason why you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional because these warning signs should be taken seriously.
What Happens if You Neglect Your Hearing Loss?
Indeed, some individuals are quite stubborn. Or they just don’t like the idea of wearing a hearing aid. They believe that wearing hearing aids causes them to look old. But that’s not actually the case (the majority of hearing aids can be very discreet, and being capable of conversing fluently is a benefit, too).
Still, it’s worth talking about what might happen if you neglect your hearing loss:
- You may have tense relationships: There’s something that occurs when you have a hard time understanding your friends and family: you give up speaking with them. You stop saying hi, you stop checking in, you distance yourself. Some of those relationships will be ruined, specifically if the problem is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not some unspoken animosity).
- Your hearing might get worse: Without a hearing aid or increased ear protection, You’ll keep turning up your devices. Or you won’t use earplugs when you go to rock concerts. Which means you’ll continue doing harm to your ears and your hearing will almost certainly keep declining because of it.
- You could go through depression and cognitive decline: As your relationships fray and going out gets more difficult, you might start to notice symptoms of depression. You may also begin to go through some cognitive decline without the auditory stimulation your brain is used to, certain changes start to take place in your neural physiology. If your hearing loss isn’t dealt with, it can result in longterm cognitive concerns.
Don’t Neglect Your Hearing Loss
Later on, clearly, bigger and more significant issues can be caused by hearing loss. But the inverse is true: recognizing and managing your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life significantly. Your daily life is more full and your relationships improve when you start to hear better. And improving your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can enhance your overall hearing health.
Hearing loss is definitely a health condition you shouldn’t neglect. A happier life begins when you find the right treatment. Manage your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.