You know what it’s like to attempt to disregard a toothache? It can be pretty difficult. Eventually, you’re unquestionably begging to go to the dentist. The same thing occurs when your eyesight begins to lose focus. When you have trouble reading street signs, you’ll probably schedule a consultation with an ophthalmologist. The trouble is, you might not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing starts to go.
And that may be an oversight. There are considerable health issues (particularly mental health issues) that can happen as a result of neglected hearing loss. Obviously, you can only ignore your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s problem number two.
Indications You Could Have Hearing Loss
We normally don’t appreciate our hearing. A high volume music event? No worry. Blaring ear pods? That’s just how you enjoy your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be significantly affected by every one of these choices, especially in the long run.
It can, unfortunately, be hard to notice these impacts. The indications of hearing loss can be nearly invisible because they creep up so slowly over time. So you should take some time to educate yourself on some primary red flags (and to take care of them sooner than later):
- You consistently blow the speakers in your earpods because you have the volume up too high
- You have a particularly difficult time hearing consonants when listening to everyday speech
- You notice sudden issues with short term memory
- When you’re in a crowded noisy situation you have a difficult time following conversations
- You have a hard time falling asleep at night and feel exhausted for no apparent reason
- Speech of those around you (friends, family, co-workers) sounds dull or distorted
- You find yourself asking people around you to repeat themselves frequently
- You keep cranking up the volume on your car stereo, television, or your smartphone
These symptoms, red flags, or warnings are all fairly well known. If your loss of hearing comes on especially slowly, your brain will immediately begin to compensate for any hearing loss that develops, making you rather unaware, at first, to your symptoms. That’s why any of these warning symptoms should be taken seriously, which means you should schedule an appointment to see your hearing specialist.
What Going to Happen if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Some individuals are, certainly, obstinate. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is just too undesirable. They think that wearing hearing aids makes them look old. But that’s not actually the case (most hearing aids can be very discreet, and being capable of conversing fluently is a benefit, too).
Still, if you ignore hearing loss it could result in several problems:
- You may have tense relationships: When you have a tough time comprehending what your friends and family are saying, something can change in the relationship: you begin having fewer conversations with them. You quit saying hi, you quit checking in, you pull away. Some of those relationships will be damaged, particularly if no one has any idea that the underlying cause is hearing loss (and not some unspoken animosity).
- You could cause your hearing to get worse: If you don’t use hearing aids or increased ear protection, you’ll keep cranking the volume on your television higher. Or you’ll keep going to rock shows without any earplugs. Which means you’ll keep doing harm to your ears and your hearing will almost definitely continue to decline because of it.
- You could suffer from cognitive decline and depression: You might start to discover symptoms of depression as your relationships falter and going out gets harder. You may also begin to experience some cognitive decline without the auditory activation your brain is used to, certain changes start to take place in your neural physiology. This can bring about long term cognitive problems if your hearing loss isn’t managed.
Don’t Ignore Your Hearing Loss
Down the road, clearly, bigger and more significant problems can be brought about 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 consulting a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
Hearing loss is definitely a health condition you shouldn’t neglect. The sooner you find the proper treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.