Most of the time, when something’s wrong internally, your body lets you know if it’s left untreated. Unfortunately, hearing loss works differently.
Do you have indigestion? It’s probably something you ate. Do your knees hurt? You may need to have them scanned to make sure there isn’t bone rubbing on bone. Maybe you simply need some exercise.
Even when you have a headache, it usually starts because you were letting stress get the better of you.
But what about your ears? If your eardrums don’t hurt and there’s no blood, is there really something wrong?
The answer is yes. Hearing works contrary to almost every other system in your body. When you experience hearing loss, the warning sign is actually what’s not occurring.
Hearing nerves are very sensitive, but you can’t feel them
If you cut your finger, you feel pain. The nerves in your finger warn you that you’re hurt. For a more serious wound, you may need a bandage or medical attention afterward.
The cells in your inner ear have a different function. Instead of sensing pain, they sense sounds in the form of sound waves. The brain interprets these waves as various sounds based on their patterns.
Instead of sending a warning signal to the brain when something’s wrong, these cells are always sending sound signals to the brain. Problems arise when those signals become distorted and then stop altogether as untreated hearing loss progresses.
Hearing loss is a slow process
Most individuals don’t notice their hearing loss symptoms for several years because it progresses so slowly. They get used to it until it begins to disrupt their daily activities.
This means individuals who could have slowed or stopped their untreated hearing loss at a younger age have missed the opportunity to do so.
That’s why pain or no pain, symptoms or no symptoms, you’re never too young to get a hearing test from a hearing specialist. It will help you find where you stand. If something you’re doing now will cause profound hearing loss within a few years, don’t you want to know so you can change your behavior as soon as possible?
Wouldn’t you choose to change that behavior if you knew?
Hearing loss isn’t reversible but can be slowed
When you cut your finger, the wound heals. In most cases, you won’t even get a scar.
But when you damage your inner ears due to exposure to loud sounds or other forms of trauma, the tiny hair cells responsible for picking up sounds slowly die. Once these cells are damaged or die, your body has no way to replace them.
That’s why age-related hearing loss is permanent.
Excellent solutions are available
Currently, doctors can’t restore the natural hearing of someone who’s experienced hearing loss. Hearing specialists, however, can recommend wearable devices that control how sound enters the ears in order to improve an individual’s hearing.
Hearing aid technology has advanced at an astonishing pace during the last several years. They’re often compatible with smartphones, smart TVs, computer tablets, and other electronic devices in your home.
Clearly, modern hearing aids aren’t the same devices you remember your father wearing.
After you have your hearing test, you can talk to your hearing specialist about solutions that will help you hear better and prevent further hearing loss.
Untreated hearing loss impacts your personal relationships
Many people experiencing hearing loss simply try to deal with it without seeking help from a hearing specialist. They try to tough it out. They don’t realize how untreated hearing loss can negatively impact relationships.
Multiple studies have shown arguments are more frequent for someone with untreated hearing loss. These arguments often lead to misunderstandings, estrangement, and in some cases, even divorce.
There may be an easy way to improve your relationships with family members and friends. Get your hearing tested for yourself and those you love. Make sure you wear your hearing aid if one has been recommended by a hearing specialist.
Untreated hearing loss affects your overall health
Many people don’t realize many of their health problems can be attributed to hearing loss. Individuals with untreated hearing loss are more likely to suffer from depression. They’re also more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.
With untreated hearing loss, you will have an increased risk of dangerous falls and other accidents.
Untreated hearing loss may ultimately take you away from the people and activities you love due to health concerns. Studies show getting a hearing test and wearing a hearing aid will help you stay healthy, active, and feeling younger.
Just because it doesn’t hurt doesn’t mean nothing’s wrong. Get your hearing tested by a hearing specialist as soon as possible.