Woman stubbornly refusing to have her hearing checked even though her daughter is insisting she has hearing loss.

You know what it’s like to attempt to disregard a toothache? They can be rather tough. After a while, you end up having no other option but to see a dentist. The same thing occurs when your eyesight begins to blur. You’ll most likely contact an ophthalmologist when you begin to have difficulty reading street signs. But the problem is, when your hearing starts to go you may not have as much urgency.

And that may be an oversight. Untreated hearing loss can be the reason for significant health problems (specifically mental problems). Obviously, you can only neglect your diminishing hearing if you’re actually aware of it. And that’s problem number two.

Signs You Might Have Hearing Loss

We normally don’t appreciate our hearing. A high volume music event? No worry. Blasting ear pods? You prefer to listen to your podcasts this way. But every one of those decisions, especially over time, will have a substantial impact on your overall hearing.

Sadly, those impacts could be hard to detect. Hearing loss can sneak up on you incrementally, with symptoms that advance so slowly as to be effectively invisible. So you should take some time to learn some basic red flags (and to deal with them sooner than later):

  • When you’re in a crowded noisy situation you have a hard time keeping up with conversations
  • Your short term memory seems to suddenly fail now and then
  • When you listen to casual speech, you have a particularly hard time hearing consonants
  • You regularly have to ask individuals to repeat what they said
  • You can’t keep a set of earbuds because you keep blowing the speakers
  • You usually need to turn up the volume on your devices
  • Voices of those around you (family, co-workers, friends) sounds muffled or distorted
  • You have a difficult time falling asleep at night and feel exhausted for no reason

These signs, red flags, or warnings are all fairly well known. If your loss of hearing comes on especially slowly, your brain will instantly start compensating for any hearing loss that develops, making you somewhat unaware, at first, to your symptoms. That’s why all of these warning signs should be taken seriously, which means you should make an appointment to see your hearing specialist.

If You Ignore Your Hearing Loss, What’s Going Happen?

Indeed, some individuals are very stubborn. Or the idea of wearing hearing aids is just too unwelcome. They maintain this fear that wearing a hearing aid is some sort of direct sign for old age (as though constantly asking people to speak louder is a signifier of never ending youth). 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, also).

Still, it’s worth discussing what might happen if you ignore your hearing loss:

  • Your relationships could diminish: There’s something that happens when you have a difficult time understanding your friends and relatives: you avoid talking to them. You stop saying hi, you quit checking in, you pull away. Some of those relationships will be ruined, specifically if no one has any idea that the root cause is loss of hearing (and not because you’re angry at them).
  • Your hearing could worsen: If you don’t utilize hearing aids or increased ear protection, you’ll keep turning the volume on your television higher. Or you’ll keep intending to rock concerts without any earplugs. And your hearing will continue declining as you keep to do damage to your ears.
  • Cognitive decline and depression could result: You might begin to discover symptoms of depression as your relationships falter and going out becomes harder. You might also start to experience some mental decline without the auditory stimulation your brain is used to, your neural physiology starts to experience specific changes. This can bring about long term cognitive difficulties if your hearing loss isn’t dealt with.

Don’t Neglect Your Hearing Loss

In the future, clearly, bigger and more significant problems can be triggered by hearing loss. On the other hand, your quality of life can be considerably improved by recognizing and managing your hearing loss. Your daily life is more full and your relationships improve when you start to hear better. And your general health will be enhanced by consulting a hearing specialist or at least downloading a noise monitoring app.

Hearing loss is definitely a health condition you shouldn’t ignore. A happier life starts when you find the correct treatment. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.