Have you ever attempted to disregard a toothache? It can be very difficult. After a while, you end up having no other option but to see a dentist. And when your eyesight begins to lose focus it’s the same. You’ll probably call an ophthalmologist when you begin to have difficulty reading street signs. The problem is, you may not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing starts to go.
This would more than likely be a mistake. There are considerable health problems (especially mental health problems) that can develop as a consequence of untreated hearing loss. Regrettably, it’s pretty hard to address your diminishing hearing if you aren’t aware of it. And that’s problem number two.
You May Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We normally don’t appreciate our hearing. A high volume music festival? No biggie. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you enjoy your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be significantly affected by every one of these decisions, particularly over time.
Regrettably, those impacts could be hard to notice. The indications of hearing loss can be almost invisible because they sneak up so slowly over time. That’s why it’s a good idea to know some basic red flags (and to deal with them sooner than later):
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have a particularly difficult time hearing consonants
- It’s challenging to understand conversations in loud or crowded environments
- You feel an unexplained sense of exhaustion or have significant trouble falling asleep at night
- You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you need the volume up too loud
- You keep turning up the volume on your television, car stereo, or your cellphone
- You find yourself asking those around you to repeat themselves frequently
- You encounter sudden issues with short term memory
- Voices of those around you (friends, family, co-workers) sounds muffled or distorted
These symptoms, red flags, or warnings are all pretty well known. If your hearing loss comes on particularly slowly, your brain will immediately begin to compensate for any hearing loss that occurs, making you rather unaware, at first, to your symptoms. That’s why any of these warning signs 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 people are, certainly, stubborn. Or they simply don’t favor the thought of wearing a hearing aid. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some kind of direct sign for old age (as though constantly asking someone to speak louder is a signifier of never ending youth). But that’s not really the situation (the majority of hearing aids can be very discreet, and being capable of conversing fluently is a boon, too).
Still, if you neglect hearing loss it could result in numerous issues:
- Your hearing might get worse: Without a hearing aid or enhanced hearing protection, you’ll keep turning the volume on your television up. Or you’ll keep intending to rock shows without any earplugs. And your hearing will continue diminishing as you continue to do harm to your ears.
- You may have tense relationships: There’s something that takes place when you have a difficult time understanding your friends and family: you start having fewer interactions with them. You quit saying hi, you quit checking in, you distance yourself. Some of those relationships will be hurt, especially if no one has any idea that the underlying cause is loss of hearing (and not because you’re mad at them).
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: You might begin to notice signs of depression as your relationships fizzle and going out gets harder. You might also start to experience some cognitive decline without the auditory stimulation your brain is used to, certain changes start to take place in your neural physiology. This can lead to long term cognitive difficulties if your hearing loss isn’t managed.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Ignored
Later on, clearly, bigger and more significant problems can be triggered by hearing loss. Conversely, your quality of life can be significantly improved by recognizing and dealing with your hearing loss. Your every day 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 certainly a health condition you shouldn’t neglect. A happier life begins when you find the proper treatment. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache becomes too painful to ignore.