You know what it’s like to try to ignore a toothache? They can be rather tough. Sooner or later, you’re unquestionably begging to go see a dentist. The same thing takes place when your eyesight starts to lose focus. When you have trouble reading street signs, you’ll most likely make a consultation with an ophthalmologist. But the concern is, when your hearing begins to go you might not have as much urgency.
This would probably be an oversight. Neglected hearing loss can be responsible for significant health problems (specifically mental problems). Of course, you can only ignore your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And there’s the second challenge.
You Might Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We normally don’t appreciate our hearing. A loud concert? No worry. Blaring ear pods? That’s just how you enjoy your podcasts. But every one of those decisions, particularly over time, will have a considerable impact on your overall hearing.
Regrettably, those impacts could be hard to notice. The indications of hearing loss can be virtually invisible because they creep up so slowly over time. That’s why it’s a good idea to know some primary red flags (and to take care of them sooner than later):
- When you listen to casual speech, you have a particularly hard time hearing consonants
- Distorted or dull sounding speech from people around you (family, co-workers, friends)
- You encounter unexpected problems with short term memory
- You keep cranking up the volume on your car stereo, television, or your cellphone
- You can’t maintain a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- It’s hard to understand conversations in noisy or crowded surroundings
- You feel an unexplained sense of exhaustion or have significant trouble falling asleep at night
- You frequently need to ask people to repeat themselves
It’s pretty well known what these red flags and symptoms mean. If your loss of hearing comes on especially gradually, your brain will instantly start compensating 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 need to make an appointment to see your hearing professional.
What Happens if You Neglect Your Hearing Loss?
Indeed, some people are quite obstinate. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is just too undesirable. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some sort of immediate sign for old age (as if constantly asking someone to speak louder is a sign of unending youth). But in reality, most modern hearing aids are practically undetectable (and it’s helpful when you can understand and take part in conversations).
Still, if you neglect hearing loss it could lead to numerous issues:
- 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 higher. Or you’ll keep intending to rock concerts without any earplugs. And your hearing will continue diminishing as you continue to do harm to your ears.
- Your relationships could diminish: There’s something that takes place when you have a difficult time understanding your friends and family: 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 withdraw. And that can damage some of those relationships, particularly if the problem is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not because you’re angry at them).
- You could suffer from depression and cognitive decline: As your relationships fray and going out becomes more difficult, you may begin to notice signs of depression. You may also begin to go through some cognitive decline if your brain doesn’t receive the auditory stimulation that it’s used to, your neural physiology starts to experience specific changes. This can bring about long term cognitive problems if your hearing loss isn’t treated.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Neglected
Down the road, clearly, bigger and more substantial issues can be caused by hearing loss. On the other hand, 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 get better when you start to hear better. And increasing your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can improve your complete hearing health.
You definitely shouldn’t ignore the health problem of hearing loss. The sooner you find the correct treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.