Have you ever tried to disregard a toothache? It can be pretty difficult. At some point, you’re unquestionably pleading to go to the dentist. The same thing occurs when your eyesight starts to blur. You’ll probably contact an ophthalmologist when you start to have problems reading street signs. But the issue is, when your hearing starts to go you may not show such urgency.
And that may be an oversight. Neglected hearing loss can be the reason for considerable health problems (particularly mental problems). Regrettably, it’s pretty hard to address your diminishing hearing if you aren’t aware of it. And there’s the second challenge.
You Might Have Hearing Loss if You Notice These Symptoms
We typically don’t appreciate our hearing. A loud concert? No big deal.. Blaring ear pods? You prefer to listen to your podcasts like this. But your overall hearing will be substantially impacted by each of these decisions, particularly over time.
Unfortunately, those impacts may be hard to notice. The indications of hearing loss can be virtually invisible because they creep up so slowly over time. So you should take some time to learn some primary red flags (and to make sure you don’t neglect them):
- It’s hard to understand conversations in noisy or crowded environments
- You find yourself asking people around you to repeat what they said quite often
- You have a particularly hard time hearing consonants when listening to casual speech
- You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you have the volume up too loud
- You usually need to crank up the volume on your devices
- Voices of those near you (friends, family, co-workers) sounds muffled or distorted
- You experience unexpected problems with short term memory
- You feel an unexplained sense of exhaustion or have significant difficulty falling asleep at night
These signs, red flags, or warnings are all pretty well known. If your hearing loss comes on especially gradually, your brain will instantly start compensating for any hearing loss that develops, making you somewhat oblivious, at first, to your symptoms. That’s the reason why you should make an appointment with your hearing care specialist because these warning signs should be taken seriously.
If You Neglect Your Hearing Loss, What Will Happen?
Indeed, some people are quite 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 direct sign for old age (as though constantly asking someone to speak louder is a signifier of never ending youth). But in reality, most contemporary hearing aids are practically invisible (and it doesn’t hurt when you can hear and participate in conversations).
Still, if you neglect hearing loss it could result in numerous issues:
- You could have tense relationships: When you have a difficult time understanding what your family and friends are saying, something can change in the relationship: you start having fewer conversations with them. You stop calling to say hi, you don’t keep up with what’s going on with them, you withdraw. Some of those relationships will be hurt, especially if the problem is hearing loss that you have kept secret (and not some unspoken bitterness).
- Your hearing could worsen: Without a hearing aid or enhanced hearing protection, You’ll keep turning up your devices. Or you’ll keep going to rock concerts without any earplugs. Which means you’ll keep doing damage to your ears and your hearing will almost certainly keep declining because of it.
- Cognitive decline and depression could result: You might begin to discover symptoms of depression as your relationships fizzle and going out becomes harder. 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 lead to long term cognitive challenges if your hearing loss isn’t treated.
Don’t Ignore Your Hearing Loss
Later on, clearly, bigger and more significant issues can be caused by hearing loss. But the inverse is true: recognizing and treating your hearing loss can improve your quality of life substantially. Your daily life is more full and your relationships improve when you begin to hear better. And increasing your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can improve your overall hearing health.
Hearing loss is certainly a health condition you shouldn’t dismiss. The sooner you find the proper treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.