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 feels like you’re making the best choice by letting your hearing loss slide for a time, it can actually make it more difficult for you in the long run. You can’t afford to ignore your hearing loss
Let’s look at seven reasons why you can’t afford to hesitate to get a hearing test.
1. Not all hearing loss is the same
It’s important to get your hearing checked by a hearing specialist when it comes to hearing issues because different people experience different kinds of hearing loss.
Higher pitch hearing is usually the first hearing to go. The frequency of the sounds “S,” “F,” and “TH” may fade into the background for a person with hearing loss. This makes it difficult to fully understand someone’s words.
Tinnitus, also known as ringing in the ears, can also accompany hearing loss. When ringing happens, the distraction and annoyance can be overwhelming and lead to increased anxiety.
There are 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, partial hearing loss can make it hard for employers to accommodate you on the job. This can lead to missed promotions, poor reviews, or even job loss.
You may not realize hearing loss is to blame for your loss of productivity at work, which may leave you feeling hurt or angry. These can be the consequences of ignoring your hearing loss.
Determining the factors that led to your hearing issues and your level of hearing loss can make a huge difference in improving your hearing and ability to work effectively with others.
2. Ear health goes beyond hearing loss
Untreated hearing impairment means missing out on opportunities. You might even miss out on things you didn’t know you were missing out on. Some of these may include:
- Interpersonal relationships
- Phone calls from friends
- The joy of hearing your grandchild’s laughter
- The sound of your favorite music
- Delayed responses to sirens alerting you to pull over
- The birds chirping in your neighborhood
There are many benefits to making your ear health a priority. Some of these benefits you might not have thought about or appreciated until you’ve lost them.
3. Hearing loss can affect your balance
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.
Hearing loss can also affect the amount of 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.
People with untreated hearing loss are 1.4 times more likely to fall for every 10 dB of hearing they’ve lost.
That means, if you have severe hearing loss, you have an increased fall risk of as much as four- to five-fold.
Falls are painful and expensive, with extended stays in the hospital and rehab. In the US, Medicare only pays roughly 80% of the bill, leaving you to pay the rest. Those costs are more expensive than a pair of hearing aids!
4. Your frustration may be misinterpreted as anger by loved ones
Even when you ignore your hearing loss, you’ll still feel the full impact of losing your hearing. As the consequences of hearing impairment begin to pile up, so will your frustration. Oftentimes, your frustration will be misperceived as anger toward others, and your loved ones may take it personally.
Couples counseling will cost you a lot more than a hearing aid in terms of money, time, and strain on your relationship. You can get your hearing loss treated to avoid this emotional and financial expense.
5. You may feel all alone in a room full of people
Untreated hearing loss can cause you to feel isolated from others. When you ignore the signs your hearing is impaired, you’ll have to compensate by acting like you’ve heard all the words your spouse just said to you or that you fully understood the conversation with a friend.
Faking it can damage the bond between you and those around you. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness if you allow it to continue.
6. Your overall quality of life will be 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. Hearing loss costs time, money, and even relationships.
From losing a job to missing your grandchild’s starring role in the school play, your experiences and overall quality of life will be adversely affected.
7. Your family’s quality of life will be negatively impacted
When you overlook the decline in your hearing, you’re not the only one who suffers. Your family members might unknowingly contribute to your frustration by accusing you of ignoring them or becoming angry at you.
This can cause you to unfairly take out your anger and frustration on them.
Safeguarding your hearing
Ignoring your hearing loss can have overwhelmingly negative effects on you and everyone else in your life. When your hearing is checked regularly by a hearing specialist, you can avoid these unnecessary expenses and consequences.
By having your hearing loss diagnosed by a specialist and regularly wearing hearing aids, you can significantly change your world.