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 try to ignore a toothache? It can be pretty difficult. At some point, you’re absolutely begging to go to the dentist. The same thing occurs when your eyesight begins to lose focus. You’ll most likely contact an ophthalmologist when you start to have difficulty reading street signs. The problem is, you might not show nearly as much urgency when your hearing begins to go.

This would most likely be an oversight. Untreated hearing loss can be responsible for significant health issues (particularly mental problems). Regrettably, it’s pretty difficult 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 normally take our hearing for granted. A loud concert? No worry. Blaring ear pods? You like to listen to your podcasts this way. But your overall hearing will be significantly impacted by every one of these choices, especially over time.

Unfortunately, those impacts might be difficult to detect. The symptoms of hearing loss can be nearly invisible because they sneak up so slowly over time. So you should take some time to learn some primary red flags (and to take care of them sooner than later):

  • You have an especially hard time hearing consonants when listening to everyday speech
  • You continually blow the speakers in your earpods because you have the volume up too high
  • You usually need to crank up the volume on your devices
  • You notice sudden issues with short term memory
  • Distorted or muffled sounding voices from individuals near you (co-workers, family, friends)
  • When you’re in a crowded noisy situation you have a hard time following conversations
  • You regularly have to ask individuals to repeat what they said
  • You have a hard time falling asleep at night and feel fatigued for no apparent reason

These signs, red flags, or warnings are all rather well recognized. If your hearing loss comes on especially slowly, your brain will instantly begin to compensate for any hearing loss that develops, making you rather oblivious, 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’s Going Happen?

Some people are, certainly, obstinate. Or they simply don’t favor the idea of wearing a hearing aid. They think that wearing hearing aids causes them to appear old. But that isn’t really the case (most hearing aids can be quite discreet, and being capable of conversing fluently is a boon, also).

Still, if you ignore hearing loss it could result in several issues:

  • You could have strained relationships: There’s something that happens when you have a hard time comprehending your friends and family: you start having fewer conversations with them. You quit saying hi, you stop checking in, you pull away. Some of those relationships will be hurt, particularly if no one has any idea that the root cause is hearing loss (and not because you’re mad at them).
  • Your hearing may worsen: If you don’t use hearing aids or increased ear protection, you’ll keep turning the volume on your television up. Or you won’t use earplugs when you attend rock concerts. Which means you’ll continue doing harm to your ears and your hearing will almost certainly continue to decline because of it.
  • Depression and cognitive decline could result: As your relationships fray and going out gets more challenging, you may start to detect signs of depression. You might also start to experience some mental decline if your brain doesn’t get the auditory activation that it’s used to, your neural physiology starts to experience certain changes. If your hearing loss isn’t dealt with, it can result in longterm cognitive worries.

Hearing Loss Shouldn’t be Ignored

Down the road, clearly, bigger and more significant issues can be caused by hearing loss. But the inverse is true: recognizing and dealing with your hearing loss can enhance your quality of life considerably. When you hear better, your relationships get better and your daily life seems fuller. And improving your awareness, either by seeing a hearing specialist or downloading a noise-monitoring app, can improve your overall hearing health.

You definitely shouldn’t neglect the health problem of hearing loss. The sooner you find the proper treatment, the happier you’ll be. Don’t wait until the proverbial toothache gets too painful to ignore.