You know what it’s like to try to disregard a toothache? They can be quite rough. After a while, you end up having no alternative but to consult a dentist. The same thing happens when your eyesight starts to blur. You’ll most likely call an ophthalmologist when you start to have problems reading street signs. But the concern is, when your hearing starts to go you may not show such urgency.
And that may be a mistake. Untreated hearing loss can be responsible for significant health problems (especially mental problems). Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to address your diminishing hearing if you aren’t aware of it. And that’s difficulty number two.
Signs You Could Have Hearing Loss
We often take our hearing for granted. A loud performance? No biggie. Blasting ear pods? That’s just how you like your podcasts. But every one of those decisions, especially over time, is going to have a substantial impact on your overall hearing.
It can, unfortunately, be difficult to notice these impacts. The signs of hearing loss can be virtually invisible because they sneak 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):
- You usually need to crank up the volume on your devices
- You consistently blow the speakers in your earpods because you have the volume up too loud
- You experience unexpected issues with short term memory
- You frequently have to ask individuals to repeat themselves
- When you’re in a crowded noisy setting you have a tough time following conversations
- Distorted or dull sounding voices from people around you (family, co-workers, friends)
- You have a particularly difficult time making out consonants when listening to casual speech
- You feel an inexplicable sense of fatigue or have excessive difficulty falling asleep at night
These signs, red flags, or warnings are all pretty well known. If your loss of hearing comes on particularly slowly, your brain will immediately start compensating 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 symptoms should be taken seriously.
If You Ignore Your Hearing Loss, What Will Happen?
Indeed, some people are very stubborn. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is simply too undesirable. They have this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some kind of immediate marker for old age (as though continuously asking somebody to speak up is a signifier of never ending youth). But that’s not really the situation (the majority of hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being able to converse fluently is a benefit, also).
Still, if you neglect hearing loss it may lead to several problems:
- You could have tense relationships: There’s something that takes place when you have a hard time comprehending your family and friends: you give up speaking with them. You stop calling to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s happening with them, you withdraw. Some of those relationships will be damaged, especially if no one has any idea that the root cause is hearing loss (and not some unexpressed bitterness).
- You could cause your hearing to worsen: If you don’t use hearing aids or enhanced hearing protection, You’ll keep turning up your devices. Or you’ll keep intending to rock concerts without any earplugs. Which means you’ll continue doing damage to your ears and your hearing will almost definitely keep declining because of it.
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: You might begin to discover signs of depression as your relationships fizzle and going out gets harder. You may also begin to go through some mental decline if your brain doesn’t receive the auditory activation that it’s used to, your neural physiology begins to experience specific changes. This can bring about long term cognitive problems if your hearing loss isn’t managed.
Don’t Neglect Your Hearing Loss
Unmistakably, ignoring your hearing loss can cause bigger and more substantial problems in the future. But the opposite is true: acknowledging and dealing with your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life considerably. Your daily life is more full and your relationships improve 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 neglect the health problem of hearing loss. A happier life starts when you find the proper treatment. Take care of your hearing loss before it gets too severe to ignore.