You know what it’s like to try to ignore a toothache? They can be rather rough. Before long, you end up having no choice but to see a dentist. The same thing happens when your eyesight starts to blur. When you have problems reading street signs, you’ll probably make an appointment with an ophthalmologist. The trouble is, you might not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing begins to go.
And that could be a mistake. Untreated hearing loss can be the reason for considerable health concerns (especially mental problems). Regrettably, it’s pretty hard to address your diminishing hearing if you aren’t aware of it. And there you have the second problem.
You Could Have Hearing Loss if You Detect These Symptoms
We often take our hearing for granted. A loud performance? No worry. Blaring ear pods? That’s just how you prefer your podcasts. But all of those choices, especially in the long run, is going to have a significant impact on your overall hearing.
Regrettably, those impacts could be hard to notice. Hearing loss can creep up on you gradually, with symptoms that progress so slowly as to be basically invisible. That’s why it’s a smart idea to be familiar with some primary red flags (and to make sure you don’t ignore them):
- Distorted or dull sounding voices from people near you (family, co-workers, friends)
- You usually need to turn up the volume on your devices
- You find yourself asking those around you to repeat what they said quite often
- You have an especially hard time making out consonants when listening to casual speech
- You encounter sudden issues with short term memory
- You can’t maintain a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
- It’s difficult to follow conversations in noisy or crowded settings
- You feel an unexplained sense of exhaustion or have excessive difficulty falling asleep at night
It’s pretty well known what these red flags and signs mean. If your loss of hearing comes on particularly slowly, your brain will immediately begin to compensate for any hearing loss that develops, making you rather unaware, at first, to your symptoms. That’s the reason why you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional because these warning signs should be taken seriously.
What Happens if You Ignore Your Hearing Loss?
Indeed, some individuals are quite obstinate. Or they just don’t like the thought of wearing a hearing aid. They think that wearing hearing aids makes them look old. But in actuality, most modern hearing aids are virtually invisible (and it’s helpful when you can hear and take part in conversations).
Still, if you ignore hearing loss it could lead to several issues:
- You could cause your hearing to worsen: Without a hearing aid or enhanced hearing protection, you’ll keep cranking the volume on your television higher. Or you won’t use earplugs when you attend rock concerts. Which means you’ll continue doing harm to your ears and your hearing will almost certainly continue to decline because of it.
- Your relationships could fray: When you have a hard time understanding what your family and friends are saying, something can change in the relationship: you avoid speaking with them. You stop saying hi, you stop checking in, you pull away. Some of those relationships will be damaged, particularly if the issue is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not some unexpressed bitterness).
- You could suffer from cognitive decline and depression: You may begin to notice signs of depression as your relationships falter and going out gets harder. You may also start to go through some mental decline if your brain doesn’t get the auditory activation that it’s used to, certain changes start to take place in your neural physiology. This can result in long term cognitive challenges if your hearing loss isn’t dealt with.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Ignored
In the future, clearly, bigger and more significant problems can be caused by hearing loss. But the inverse is true: acknowledging and managing your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life substantially. Your every day life is more full and your relationships improve when you begin to hear better. And improving your awareness, either by consulting a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can improve your complete hearing health.
You absolutely shouldn’t ignore the health problem of hearing loss. The sooner you find the right treatment, the happier you’ll be. Manage your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.