You know what it’s like to attempt to disregard a toothache? It can be very difficult. At some point, you end up having no alternative 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 likely schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist. But the issue is, when your hearing begins to go you may not show such urgency.
And that could be an oversight. Neglected hearing loss can be the reason for considerable health issues (especially mental problems). Naturally, you can only ignore your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s problem number two.
Indications You Might Have Hearing Loss
We tend to take our hearing for granted. A high volume music event? No worry. Blasting ear pods? You like to listen to your podcasts like this. But your overall hearing will be substantially affected by every one of these decisions, especially in the long run.
It can, regrettably, be difficult to notice these impacts. 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 identify some primary red flags (and to take care of them sooner than later):
- You have a difficult time falling asleep at night and feel exhausted for no reason
- It’s difficult to understand conversations in loud or crowded environments
- You keep cranking up the volume on your television, car stereo, or your smartphone
- You find yourself asking those around you to repeat what they said frequently
- Your short term memory seems to suddenly fail sometimes
- You have an especially hard time making out consonants when listening to casual speech
- Distorted or dull sounding speech from people around you (co-workers, family, friends)
- You can’t keep a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
These symptoms, red flags, or warnings are all pretty well recognized. If your hearing loss comes on especially gradually, your brain will instantly start compensating for any hearing loss that occurs, making you rather unaware, at first, to your symptoms. That’s the reason why all of these warning signs should be taken seriously, which means you should schedule an appointment to see your hearing professional.
What Happens if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Indeed, some individuals are very stubborn. Or they simply don’t like the idea of wearing a hearing aid. They think that wearing hearing aids causes them to look old. But that’s not actually the case (the majority of hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being able to converse fluently is a benefit, too).
Nevertheless, it’s worth discussing what could take place if you ignore your hearing loss:
- Your hearing may get worse: If you don’t use hearing aids or increased ear protection, you’ll keep turning the volume on your television higher. Or you’ll keep intending to rock concerts without any earplugs. And your hearing will continue declining as you keep doing harm to your ears.
- Your relationships could fray: When you have a tough time understanding what your friends and relatives are saying, something can change in the relationship: you start having fewer conversations with them. You don’t call to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s happening with them, you withdraw. And that can hurt some of those relationships, particularly if the issue is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not because you’re angry at them).
- Depression and cognitive decline could result: As your relationships fray and going out gets more challenging, you may start to experience symptoms of depression. You might also start to go through some cognitive decline without the auditory activation your brain is used to, your neural physiology begins to experience specific changes. This can bring about long term cognitive problems if your hearing loss isn’t dealt with.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Neglected
Unmistakably, neglecting your hearing loss can cause bigger and more substantial problems later on. On the other hand, your quality of life can be significantly improved by recognizing and dealing with your hearing loss. When you hear better, your relationships get better and your every day life seems more full. And increasing your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can enhance your complete hearing health.
Hearing loss is definitely a health condition you shouldn’t dismiss. The sooner you find the correct treatment, the happier you’ll be. Manage your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.