You know what it’s like to try to disregard a toothache? They can be rather rough. Before long, you end up having no choice but to consult a dentist. And when your eyesight begins to blur it’s the same. You’ll most likely call an ophthalmologist when you begin to have trouble reading street signs. But the issue is, when your hearing begins to go you may not show as much urgency.
This would probably be a mistake. Neglected hearing loss can be responsible for considerable health problems (especially mental problems). Obviously, you can only ignore your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s difficulty number two.
Signs You Could Have Hearing Loss
We typically don’t appreciate our hearing. A loud concert? No big deal.. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you prefer your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be significantly impacted by every one of these choices, particularly over time.
It can, unfortunately, be hard to detect these impacts. Hearing loss can creep up on you gradually, with symptoms that progress so slowly as to be essentially invisible. That’s why it’s a good idea to know some primary red flags (and to make sure you don’t ignore them):
- It’s difficult to follow conversations in noisy or crowded surroundings
- You have a difficult time falling asleep at night and feel exhausted for no apparent reason
- You find yourself asking individuals around you to repeat themselves frequently
- You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you need the volume up too loud
- Distorted or muffled sounding speech from people around you (co-workers, family, friends)
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have a particularly tough time making out consonants
- You experience unexpected problems with short term memory
- You always need to turn up the volume on your devices
These symptoms, red flags, or warnings are all pretty well recognized. If your hearing loss comes on particularly slowly, your brain will immediately start compensating for any hearing loss that occurs, making you somewhat unaware, at first, to your symptoms. That’s the reason why you should make an appointment with your hearing care professional because these warning symptoms should be taken seriously.
What Going to Happen if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Some people are, certainly, obstinate. Or they just don’t favor the thought of wearing a hearing aid. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some sort of direct sign for old age (as though continuously asking someone to speak up is a sign of everlasting youth). But in reality, most modern hearing aids are practically unseen (and it doesn’t hurt when you can understand and participate in conversations).
Still, if you ignore hearing loss it could lead to several issues:
- Your relationships could fray: There’s something that happens when you have a hard time understanding your friends and relatives: you begin having fewer interactions with them. You stop calling to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s happening with them, you disengage. And that can hurt some of those relationships, specifically if no one has any idea that the root cause is hearing loss (and not because you’re mad at them).
- You could cause your hearing to worsen: Without a hearing aid or increased ear protection, You’ll continue to turn up your devices. Or you’ll keep going to rock shows without any earplugs. Which means you’ll keep doing damage to your ears and your hearing will almost certainly keep declining because of it.
- Depression and cognitive decline could result: You may begin to detect symptoms of depression as your relationships falter and going out gets more challenging. You may also begin to experience some mental decline without the auditory stimulation your brain is used to, your neural physiology begins to experience specific changes. This can result in long term cognitive problems if your hearing loss isn’t dealt with.
Don’t Ignore Your Hearing Loss
Unmistakably, neglecting your hearing loss can cause bigger and more substantial issues down the road. On the other hand, your quality of life can be considerably improved by recognizing and managing your hearing loss. When you hear better, your relationships improve and your daily life seems fuller. And your general health will be improved by consulting a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
Hearing loss is certainly a health condition you shouldn’t ignore. The sooner you find the right treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache becomes too painful to ignore.