You know what it’s like to attempt to disregard a toothache? It can be pretty difficult. At some point, you end up having no other option but to consult a dentist. The same thing takes place when your eyesight starts to lose focus. When you have difficulties reading street signs, you’ll probably make a consultation with an ophthalmologist. The problem is, you may not show quite so much urgency when your hearing starts to go.
This would probably be a mistake. Untreated hearing loss can be the reason for significant health problems (especially mental problems). Unfortunately, it’s pretty difficult to address your diminishing hearing if you aren’t aware of it. And there’s the second problem.
You Might Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We tend to take our hearing for granted. A high volume music event? No big deal.. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you enjoy your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be significantly impacted by all of these decisions, particularly over time.
It can, unfortunately, be hard to detect these impacts. The symptoms of hearing loss can be nearly invisible because they sneak up so slowly over time. So you should take some time to educate yourself on some basic red flags (and to make sure you don’t ignore them):
- Your short term memory tends to suddenly fail sometimes
- You usually need to crank up the volume on your devices
- You frequently have to ask people to repeat what they said
- It’s challenging to follow conversations in noisy or crowded surroundings
- You feel an inexplicable sense of exhaustion or have significant difficulty falling asleep at night
- You have an especially difficult time hearing consonants when listening to casual speech
- You can’t maintain a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- Voices of those near you (friends, family, co-workers) sounds dull or distorted
It’s pretty well known what these red flags and signs indicate. At first, you will be somewhat unaware of your symptoms, particularly if they come on gradually, because your brain will instantly start to compensate. That’s the reason why any of these warning signs should be taken seriously, which means you should schedule an appointment to see your hearing professional.
If You Ignore Your Hearing Loss, What Will Happen?
Indeed, some individuals are quite stubborn. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is just too undesirable. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some kind of direct marker for old age (as though continuously asking someone to speak louder is a signifier of unending youth). But in reality, most contemporary hearing aids are virtually undetectable (and it’s helpful when you can understand and take part in conversations).
Even so, it’s worth talking about what could occur if you neglect your hearing loss:
- You may have tense relationships: There’s something that takes place when you have a difficult time comprehending your friends and relatives: you begin having fewer conversations with them. You stop saying hi, you stop checking in, you pull away. Some of those relationships will be hurt, particularly if no one has any idea that the underlying cause is loss of hearing (and not some unspoken bitterness).
- You could cause your hearing to get worse: Without a hearing aid or enhanced hearing protection, you’ll keep turning the volume on your television up. Or you won’t use earplugs when you go to rock concerts. Which means you’ll keep doing damage to your ears and your hearing will almost certainly continue to decline because of it.
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: As your relationships falter and going out becomes more difficult, you might start to experience signs of depression. You might also start to go through some cognitive decline without the auditory activation your brain is used to, your neural physiology starts to experience certain changes. This can result in long term cognitive challenges if your hearing loss isn’t treated.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Ignored
Later on, clearly, bigger and more significant issues can be triggered by hearing loss. But the inverse is true: recognizing and treating your hearing loss can improve your quality of life considerably. When you can hear, your relationships improve and your daily life seems fuller. And improving your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can improve your overall hearing health.
Hearing loss is certainly a health condition you shouldn’t dismiss. A happier life starts when you find the proper treatment. Manage your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.