Have you ever attempted to disregard a toothache? They can be rather tough. At some point, you’re absolutely pleading to go see a dentist. The same thing occurs when your eyesight begins to lose focus. You’ll most likely contact an ophthalmologist when you begin to have difficulty reading street signs. But the concern is, when your hearing begins to go you might not show as much urgency.
And that could be a mistake. There are significant health issues (especially mental health issues) that can happen due to neglected hearing loss. Of course, you can only ignore your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And there you have the second problem.
Indications You Could Have Hearing Loss
We tend to take our hearing for granted. A high volume music festival? No worry. Blasting ear pods? You like to listen to your podcasts this way. But every one of those choices, especially in the long run, is going to have a significant affect on your general hearing.
Regrettably, those impacts might be difficult to detect. The indications of hearing loss can be almost invisible because they sneak up so slowly over time. That’s why it’s a smart idea to be familiar with some basic red flags (and to deal with them sooner than later):
- You experience unexpected problems with short term memory
- When you’re in a crowded noisy situation you have a difficult time keeping up with conversations
- When you listen to everyday speech, you have an especially difficult time making out consonants
- You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you need the volume up too loud
- You find yourself asking people around you to repeat themselves quite often
- You keep turning up the volume on your television, car stereo, or your smartphone
- You have a difficult time falling asleep at night and feel exhausted for no reason
- Distorted or dull sounding voices from people near you (family, co-workers, friends)
It’s fairly well recognized what these red flags and signs indicate. At first, you will be somewhat unaware of your symptoms, especially if they come on gradually, because your brain will immediately begin to compensate. That’s why you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional because these warning signs should be taken seriously.
If You Ignore Your Hearing Loss, What’s Going Happen?
Indeed, some individuals are very stubborn. Or they simply don’t favor the idea of wearing a hearing aid. They believe that wearing hearing aids makes them look old. But that’s not really the case (the majority of hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being able to converse fluently is a benefit, too).
Still, if you neglect hearing loss it could result in numerous issues:
- Your hearing could worsen: Without a hearing aid or enhanced hearing protection, you’ll keep cranking the volume on your television up. Or you’ll keep intending to rock shows without any earplugs. Which means you’ll continue doing harm to your ears and your hearing will almost certainly keep declining because of it.
- Your relationships could fray: There’s something that occurs when you have a hard time understanding your friends and family: you avoid speaking with them. You stop calling to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s going on with them, you withdraw. And that can hurt some of those relationships, especially if no one has any clue that the underlying cause is hearing loss (and not because you’re angry at them).
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: As your relationships fray and going out becomes more challenging, you might start to notice symptoms of depression. You may also start to experience some cognitive decline without the auditory stimulation your brain is used to, your neural physiology begins to experience specific changes. This can result in long term cognitive challenges if your hearing loss isn’t managed.
Don’t Neglect Your Hearing Loss
Later on, clearly, bigger and more substantial issues can be caused by hearing loss. But the opposite is true: recognizing and dealing with your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life substantially. When you hear better, your relationships improve and your every day life seems more full. And your general health will be improved by consulting a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.
You definitely shouldn’t ignore the health concern of hearing loss. A happier life starts when you find the right treatment. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.