You know what it’s like to attempt to disregard a toothache? They can be rather rough. After a while, you end up having no other option but to consult a dentist. And when your eyesight starts to blur it’s the same. You’ll most likely call an ophthalmologist when you start to have problems reading street signs. But the issue is, when your hearing begins to go you may not show as much urgency.
And that could be an oversight. There are significant health issues (particularly mental health problems) that can happen due to untreated hearing loss. Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to address your diminishing hearing if you don’t know about it. And there’s the second problem.
Signs You Might Have Hearing Loss
We often take our hearing for granted. A high volume music festival? No big deal.. Blaring ear pods? That’s just how you prefer your podcasts. But each of those choices, especially over time, is going to have a considerable affect on your general hearing.
It can, regrettably, be difficult to detect these impacts. Hearing loss can sneak up on you incrementally, with symptoms that advance so slowly as to be effectively invisible. That’s why it’s a good idea to know some basic red flags (and to deal with them sooner than later):
- You have a difficult time falling asleep at night and feel fatigued for no reason
- Your short term memory tends to suddenly fail now and then
- You find yourself asking those around you to repeat themselves frequently
- Distorted or dull sounding speech from people near you (co-workers, family, friends)
- You consistently blow the speakers in your earpods because you have the volume up too loud
- When you’re in a crowded noisy environment you have a difficult time following conversations
- You have a particularly difficult time making out consonants when listening to casual speech
- You keep turning up the volume on your car stereo, television, or your cellphone
It’s pretty well recognized what these red flags and signs mean. At first, you will be somewhat ignorant of your symptoms, particularly if they come on slowly, because your brain will immediately start to compensate. That’s the reason why any of these warning symptoms should be taken seriously, which means you need to schedule an appointment to see your hearing specialist.
If You Ignore Your Hearing Loss, What Will Happen?
Some people are, indeed, obstinate. Or they just don’t like the concept of wearing a hearing aid. They think that wearing hearing aids causes them to appear old. But in reality, most modern hearing aids are virtually unseen (and it’s helpful when you can understand and take part in conversations).
Still, if you ignore hearing loss it could result in numerous problems:
- You could have tense relationships: There’s something that takes place when you have a difficult time comprehending your friends and relatives: you start 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. Some of those relationships will be hurt, specifically if the issue is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not because you’re mad at them).
- Your hearing could get worse: Without a hearing aid or enhanced hearing protection, you’ll keep turning the volume on your television up. Or you won’t use earplugs when you go to rock concerts. And your hearing will continue diminishing as you keep to do damage to your ears.
- You could suffer from cognitive decline and depression: You might start to detect signs of depression as your relationships falter and going out becomes more challenging. You may also start to experience some cognitive decline if your brain doesn’t receive the auditory stimulation that it’s used to, your neural physiology starts to experience certain changes. This can bring about long term cognitive challenges if your hearing loss isn’t treated.
Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Ignored
Down the road, clearly, bigger and more substantial issues can be caused by hearing loss. But the inverse is true: acknowledging and dealing with your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life considerably. When you hear better, your relationships improve and your daily life seems more full. And improving your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can enhance your overall hearing health.
You definitely shouldn’t ignore the health concern of hearing loss. The sooner you find the proper treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache becomes too painful to ignore.