You know what it’s like to try to disregard a toothache? They can be quite tough. Before long, you end up having no other option but to 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 make an appointment with an ophthalmologist. The trouble is, you might not show quite so much urgency when your hearing begins to go.
And that may be an error in judgment. 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 that’s difficulty number two.
Signs You Could Have Hearing Loss
We normally don’t appreciate our hearing. A high volume music festival? No big deal.. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you like your podcasts. But every one of those decisions, especially over time, is going to have a substantial impact on your general hearing.
It can, regrettably, be hard to detect these impacts. Hearing loss can sneak up on you gradually, with symptoms that advance so slowly as to be basically invisible. So you should take some time to educate yourself on some basic red flags (and to deal with them sooner than later):
- You usually need to turn up the volume on your devices
- It’s difficult to understand conversations in loud or crowded environments
- You find yourself asking people around you to repeat what they said quite often
- You have a hard time falling asleep at night and feel fatigued for no apparent reason
- Your short term memory tends to suddenly fail now and then
- Distorted or dull sounding voices from individuals near you (family, co-workers, friends)
- You consistently blow the speakers in your earpods because you need the volume up too loud
- You have a particularly hard time making out consonants when listening to casual speech
These symptoms, red flags, or warnings are all fairly well known. If your hearing loss comes on particularly gradually, your brain will immediately start compensating for any hearing loss that occurs, making you somewhat unaware, at first, to your symptoms. That’s why all of these warning signs should be taken seriously, which means you should schedule an appointment to see your hearing professional.
If You Neglect Your Hearing Loss, What Will Happen?
Some individuals are, indeed, obstinate. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is just too undesirable. They think that wearing hearing aids causes them to look old. But that’s not really the case (most hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being capable of conversing fluently is a boon, too).
Still, if you ignore hearing loss it may lead to several problems:
- Your relationships could diminish: There’s something that takes place when you have a hard time comprehending your family and friends: you begin having fewer interactions 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, specifically if no one has any idea that the underlying cause is hearing loss (and not some unspoken animosity).
- Your hearing could worsen: If you don’t use hearing aids or increased ear protection, You’ll keep turning up your devices. Or you won’t utilize earplugs when you go to rock concerts. And your hearing will keep diminishing as you continue to do damage to your ears.
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: You might start to discover signs of depression as your relationships fizzle and going out becomes more challenging. You might also begin to go through some mental decline if your brain doesn’t receive the auditory stimulation that it’s used to, certain changes start to take place within your neural physiology. This can lead to long term cognitive challenges if your hearing loss isn’t dealt with.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Neglected
Down the road, clearly, bigger and more substantial problems can be caused by hearing loss. On the other hand, your quality of life can be considerably improved by acknowledging and dealing with your hearing loss. When you hear better, your relationships get better and your daily life seems more full. And your overall health will be improved by consulting a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
You absolutely shouldn’t ignore the health concern of hearing loss. The sooner you find the correct treatment, the happier you’ll be. Deal with your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.