It can be tempting to ignore your hearing loss, especially if you don’t immediately notice any consequences. You might say things to yourself like, “it’s not that bad” or “I’ll bet I can go a little longer without getting my ears checked.”
While it can feel like we’re making the best choice by letting our hearing loss slide for a bit, this can actually make it more difficult for you in the long run.
Let’s take a look at these seven reasons why you can’t afford to ignore your hearing loss.
1. Not All Hearing Loss is Made the Same
It’s important to get properly diagnosed when it comes to hearing issues. Different people experience different kinds of hearing loss.
Higher pitch hearing is usually the first hearing to go. The frequency of a person’s voice when they use the letters and sounds of “S,” “F,” and “TH” may fade into the background for the person with hearing loss. This makes it hard to gain the full effects of someone’s words.
Tinnitus, also known as ringing in the ears, can also accompany hearing loss. When this happens, the distraction and annoyance of the ringing can be overwhelming and lead to anxiety symptoms.
There are also other factors that affect hearing. The amount of distance between you and the speaker impacts the amount of static noise you hear. The worst part? Others may not even notice.
Unlike people with total hearing loss, these irregularities make it hard for employers to accommodate you on the job. This can lead to missed promotions, poor reviews or even loss of a job.
You may not realize hearing loss is to blame for your loss of productive work years resulting in you feeling hurt or angry.
Finding out your contributing factors and your level of hearing loss can make a huge difference in improving your ear health and your ability to work effectively with others.
2. Hearing Loss Means More Than Hearing Loss
Untreated hearing impairment also means missing out. You might even miss out on things you didn’t know you were even missing out on. Some of these may include:
- Intimate relationships
- Phone calls from a friend
- The joy of your grandchild’s laughter
- The soft hum of your favorite music
- The delayed response to sirens alerting you to pull over
- The birds gentle chirping
There are so many benefits to making your ear health a priority. Some of these benefits you might not even realize or appreciate until you’ve lost them.
3. It Can Throw You Off Balance – Literally
Age-related hearing loss takes place in the inner ear.
Inner ear problems can impact a person’s internal equilibrium, increasing the likelihood that you’ll fall down.
Hearing loss can also affect how much immediate information you’re able to gain from your environment. This can lead to a diminished awareness of your surroundings, which has been shown to contribute to disorientation and falls.
People with untreated hearing loss are 1.4 times more likely to have a fall event for every 10 dB of hearing they’ve lost.
That means if you have severe hearing loss, you could have increased fall risk as much as 4-5 fold.
Falls are expensive with extended stays in the hospital and rehab. In the US, Medicare only pays around 80% of the bill, leaving you to pay the rest. That’s a lot more than a pair of expensive hearing aids!
4. Your Frustration Could Be Misinterpreted Anger at Loved Ones
Even when you ignore your hearing loss, you can be sure your hearing loss won’t ignore you. You’ll still feel the full impact of losing your hearing whether you choose to ignore it or not.
As the consequences of hearing impairment begin to pile up, so will your frustrations. Oftentimes, your frustration can be misperceived as frustration at others, and your loved ones may take it personally.
Couple’s counseling will cost you a lot more than a hearing aid in money, time and strain on the relationship. You can get your hearing loss treated to avoid this emotional and financial expense.
5. You Can Feel All Alone in a Room Full of People
Untreated hearing loss can cause you to feel separate from others. When you ignore the signs your hearing is impaired, you’ll have to compensate with acting like you heard all the words your spouse just said to you. Or the warm greeting from a friend.
Faking in this way can injure the bond between you and everyone around you. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness if you allow it to continue.
6. Your Overall Quality of Life is Greatly Affected
By now, it’s probably quite obvious that choosing to ignore your hearing loss can cause great rifts in your life.
Your entire quality of life will be impacted. It costs you time, money and even relationships.
From losing a job to missing out on your grandchild’s starring role in the school play, your experiences and overall life quality will take the brunt of the damage.
7. The Quality of Life of Your Family is Impacted
When you overlook the changes in your hearing, you’re not the only one who suffers. Your family members might unknowingly contribute to the source of your frustration by accusing you of ignoring them or becoming angry themselves.
This can cause you to take out your anger and frustration on them unfairly.
Safeguarding Your Hearing
Ignoring your hearing loss can have overwhelmingly negative effects on you and everyone else involved. When your hearing is checked regularly, you can avoid these unnecessary expenses and consequences.
The proper diagnosis and prescribed hearing devices really can change your world.