You know what it’s like to attempt to ignore a toothache? They can be pretty tough. Sooner or later, you’re absolutely begging to go to the dentist. The same thing occurs when your eyesight starts to lose focus. When you have difficulties reading street signs, you’ll likely schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist. The concern is, you may not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing begins to go.
And that could be a mistake. There are considerable health issues (particularly mental health problems) that can happen due to untreated hearing loss. Regrettably, it’s pretty hard to address your diminishing hearing if you aren’t aware of it. And there’s the second challenge.
You May Have Hearing Loss if You Detect These Symptoms
We often take our hearing for granted. A high volume music event? No worry. Blaring ear pods? That’s just how you like your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be considerably impacted by each of these decisions, particularly over time.
It can, unfortunately, be difficult to detect these impacts. Hearing loss can creep up on you incrementally, with symptoms that progress so gradually as to be effectively invisible. So you should take some time to educate yourself on some basic red flags (and to take care of them sooner than later):
- You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you need the volume up too high
- You encounter sudden issues with short term memory
- You usually need to turn up the volume on your devices
- You feel an unexplained sense of fatigue or have excessive difficulty falling asleep at night
- Speech of those around you (friends, family, co-workers) sounds muffled or distorted
- You have an especially hard time making out consonants when listening to casual speech
- It’s difficult to understand conversations in noisy or crowded surroundings
- You find yourself asking people around you to repeat what they said frequently
It’s fairly well known what these red flags and symptoms indicate. At first, you will be somewhat unaware of your symptoms, especially if they come on slowly, because your brain will instantly start to compensate. That’s the reason why any of these warning symptoms should be taken seriously, which means you need to make an appointment to see your hearing specialist.
If You Neglect Your Hearing Loss, What’s Going Happen?
Some people are, certainly, obstinate. Or they simply don’t like the concept of wearing a hearing aid. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some sort of direct marker for old age (as though continuously asking people to speak louder is a signifier of never ending youth). But that isn’t actually the situation (most hearing aids can be very discreet, and being capable of conversing fluently is a benefit, also).
Even so, it’s worth discussing what could take place if you neglect your hearing loss:
- Your hearing may get worse: If you don’t utilize hearing aids or enhanced hearing protection, You’ll keep turning up your devices. 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 keep declining because of it.
- You may have strained relationships: When you have a tough time comprehending what your friends and relatives are saying, something can change in the relationship: you begin having fewer conversations with them. You don’t call to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s happening with them, you disengage. And that can ruin some of those relationships, especially if no one has any idea that the root cause is loss of hearing (and not some unspoken bitterness).
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: As your relationships falter and going out gets more difficult, you might begin to notice symptoms of depression. You might also start to experience some mental decline if your brain doesn’t get the auditory stimulation that it’s used to, your neural physiology starts to experience certain changes. This can bring about long term cognitive difficulties if your hearing loss isn’t dealt with.
Don’t Neglect Your Hearing Loss
Surely, ignoring your hearing loss can cause bigger and more substantial problems in the future. On the other hand, your quality of life can be significantly improved by acknowledging and treating your hearing loss. When you can hear, your relationships improve and your every day life seems fuller. And increasing your awareness, either by consulting a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can enhance your overall hearing health.
You absolutely shouldn’t ignore the health problem of hearing loss. The sooner you find the correct treatment, the happier you’ll be. Manage your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.