Have you ever attempted to ignore a toothache? It can be very difficult. Sooner or later, you’re absolutely pleading to go see a dentist. And when your eyesight starts to blur it’s the same. When you have difficulties reading street signs, you’ll most likely schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist. But the problem is, when your hearing begins to go you may not have as much urgency.
This would most likely be a mistake. There are appreciable health issues (especially mental health problems) that can happen as a result of untreated hearing loss. Of course, you can only ignore your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And there’s the second problem.
You Could Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We tend to take our hearing for granted. A high volume music event? No worry. Blaring ear pods? You like to listen to your podcasts like this. But your overall hearing will be considerably impacted by every one of these decisions, especially over time.
Regrettably, those impacts might be difficult to notice. Hearing loss can sneak up on you incrementally, with symptoms that progress so slowly as to be basically invisible. That’s why it’s a good idea to identify some basic red flags (and to deal with them sooner than later):
- It’s challenging to understand conversations in noisy or crowded surroundings
- You have a hard time falling asleep at night and feel fatigued for no reason
- You always need to crank up the volume on your devices
- You encounter unexpected problems with short term memory
- Distorted or dull sounding speech from individuals around you (co-workers, family, friends)
- When you listen to casual speech, you have an especially tough time hearing consonants
- You can’t maintain a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- You regularly need to ask individuals to repeat what they said
These symptoms, red flags, or warnings are all pretty well known. At first, you will be somewhat unaware of your symptoms, particularly if they come on slowly, because your brain will instantly begin to compensate. That’s why any of these warning signs should be taken seriously, which means you need to schedule an appointment to see your hearing professional.
What Happens if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Indeed, some people are very obstinate. Or they just don’t like the idea of wearing a hearing aid. They assume that wearing hearing aids makes them appear old. But in actuality, most modern hearing aids are practically invisible (and it’s helpful when you can hear and participate in conversations).
Even so, it’s worth talking about what could occur if you neglect your hearing loss:
- You may have tense relationships: When you have a hard 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 disengage. And that can damage some of those relationships, especially if the issue is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not because you’re mad at them).
- Your hearing might get worse: If you don’t use hearing aids or enhanced hearing protection, you’ll keep turning the volume on your television up. Or you won’t utilize earplugs when you go to rock concerts. Which means you’ll keep doing harm to your ears and your hearing will almost definitely keep declining because of it.
- You could go through cognitive decline and depression: As your relationships falter and going out gets more difficult, you may begin to experience signs of depression. You may also begin to experience some cognitive decline if your brain doesn’t get the auditory activation that it’s used to, certain changes start to take place within your neural physiology. This can lead to long term cognitive difficulties if your hearing loss isn’t dealt with.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Ignored
Down the road, clearly, bigger and more significant issues can be triggered by hearing loss. On the other hand, your quality of life can be considerably improved by acknowledging and managing your hearing loss. When you can hear, your relationships improve and your every day life seems more full. And your overall health will be improved by seeing a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
Hearing loss is definitely a health condition you shouldn’t neglect. The sooner you find the correct treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.