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 consult a dentist. And when your eyesight starts to blur it’s the same. When you have trouble reading street signs, you’ll probably make an appointment with an ophthalmologist. But the problem is, when your hearing starts to go you may not show such urgency.
And that could be an error in judgment. Untreated hearing loss can be responsible for significant health problems (particularly mental problems). Unfortunately, it’s pretty difficult to address your diminishing hearing if you don’t know about it. And there’s the second challenge.
You Could Have Hearing Loss if You Detect These Symptoms
We typically don’t appreciate our hearing. A high volume music event? No big deal.. Blasting ear pods? You like to listen to your podcasts this way. But your overall hearing will be significantly impacted by every one of these decisions, especially over time.
It can, unfortunately, be difficult to notice these impacts. Hearing loss can creep up on you gradually, with symptoms that advance so gradually as to be effectively invisible. So you should take some time to educate yourself on some basic red flags (and to be certain you don’t ignore them):
- You consistently blow the speakers in your earpods because you have the volume up too high
- You feel an inexplicable sense of exhaustion or have significant difficulty falling asleep at night
- It’s hard to understand conversations in loud or crowded environments
- You usually have to crank up the volume on your devices
- Speech of those around you (friends, family, co-workers) sounds dull or distorted
- You find yourself asking those around you to repeat what they said quite often
- When you listen to casual speech, you have a particularly hard time hearing consonants
- You notice unexpected problems with short term memory
It’s fairly well recognized what these red flags and symptoms indicate. 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 all of these warning symptoms should be taken seriously, which means you need to schedule an appointment to see your hearing professional.
If You Ignore Your Hearing Loss, What’s Going Happen?
Some individuals are, indeed, stubborn. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is simply too undesirable. They assume that wearing hearing aids makes them appear old. But in actuality, most modern hearing aids are practically invisible (and it’s helpful when you can hear and participate in conversations).
Nevertheless, it’s worth talking about what might happen if you neglect your hearing loss:
- Your hearing could worsen: If you don’t use hearing aids or increased hearing protection, You’ll continue to turn up your devices. 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 may have strained relationships: There’s something that occurs when you have a difficult time understanding your friends and relatives: you stop speaking with them. You stop saying hi, you stop checking in, you distance yourself. And that can hurt some of those relationships, especially if no one has any idea that the underlying cause is hearing loss (and not some unexpressed bitterness).
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: You might start to notice signs of depression as your relationships falter and going out becomes harder. You may also start to experience some mental decline without the auditory activation your brain is used to, certain changes start to take place within your neural physiology. This can bring about long term cognitive problems if your hearing loss isn’t treated.
Don’t Ignore Your Hearing Loss
Surely, ignoring your hearing loss can cause bigger and more substantial issues later on. But the inverse is true: recognizing and managing your hearing loss can improve your quality of life considerably. When you can hear, your relationships get better and your every day life seems fuller. And increasing your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can enhance your overall hearing health.
Hearing loss is certainly a health condition you shouldn’t dismiss. A happier life begins when you find the right treatment. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.