Have you ever attempted to ignore a toothache? They can be quite rough. After a while, you end up having no alternative but to see a dentist. The same thing happens when your eyesight begins to lose focus. When you have problems 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.
This would more than likely be an oversight. There are considerable health problems (especially mental health problems) that can develop as a result of neglected hearing loss. Unfortunately, it’s pretty difficult to address your diminishing hearing if you aren’t aware of it. And there’s the second challenge.
Indications You May Have Hearing Loss
We normally take our hearing for granted. A loud performance? No big deal.. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you like your podcasts. But your overall hearing will be substantially affected by all of these decisions, particularly over time.
It can, regrettably, be hard to detect these impacts. Hearing loss can sneak up on you gradually, with symptoms that progress so gradually as to be essentially invisible. So you should take some time to learn some basic red flags (and to make sure you don’t neglect them):
- Distorted or muffled sounding speech from people around you (family, co-workers, friends)
- It’s hard to understand conversations in loud or crowded environments
- Your short term memory seems to suddenly fail now and then
- You have a particularly hard time hearing consonants when listening to everyday speech
- You frequently need to ask individuals to repeat what they said
- You consistently blow the speakers in your earpods because you have the volume up too high
- You keep cranking up the volume on your television, car stereo, or your cellphone
- You have a difficult time falling asleep at night and feel exhausted for no reason
These signs, red flags, or warnings are all rather well known. If your loss of hearing comes on particularly gradually, your brain will instantly start compensating for any hearing loss that occurs, making you rather oblivious, at first, to your symptoms. That’s why you should make an appointment with your hearing care specialist because these warning symptoms should be taken seriously.
What Happens if You Neglect Your Hearing Loss?
Some people are, indeed, obstinate. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is simply too unwelcome. They maintain this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some kind of direct marker for old age (as though constantly asking people to speak up is a signifier of never ending youth). But that’s not actually the situation (most hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being able to converse fluently is a benefit, also).
Still, it’s worth discussing what might occur if you neglect your hearing loss:
- Your hearing might worsen: If you don’t use hearing aids or increased hearing protection, you’ll keep cranking the volume on your television up. Or you’ll keep intending to rock concerts without any earplugs. And your hearing will keep diminishing as you continue to do harm to your ears.
- You may have tense relationships: When you have a difficult time understanding what your friends and relatives are saying, something can change in the relationship: you stop speaking with them. You stop saying hi, you stop checking in, you distance yourself. And that can damage some of those relationships, specifically if no one has any clue that the underlying cause is loss of hearing (and not because you’re angry at them).
- Depression and cognitive decline could result: You may start to discover signs of depression as your relationships fizzle and going out gets harder. You might also start to experience some mental decline if your brain doesn’t get the auditory stimulation that it’s used to, certain changes begin to take place in your neural physiology. If your hearing loss isn’t addressed, it can bring about longterm cognitive concerns.
Don’t Ignore Your Hearing Loss
Down the road, clearly, bigger and more substantial issues can be caused by hearing loss. But the inverse is true: recognizing and dealing with your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life significantly. When you can hear, your relationships get better and your daily life seems fuller. And your general health will be improved by seeing a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
You absolutely shouldn’t neglect the health problem of hearing loss. The sooner you find the proper treatment, the happier you’ll be. Deal with your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.