Too often health issues go unaddressed…until the situation becomes urgent.
Unfortunately, by waiting so long the situation can become critical and/or irreversible.
Think of the person who dismisses a heart attack because he thinks, “It’s probably just indigestion and will pass soon. I don’t want to make a big deal out of nothing.”
Auditory Conditions of Concern
When it comes to auditory health, you might be surprised to learn that quite a few situations fall into this category of concern:
Hearing gets worse when abused.
Sadly people often neglect addressing their hearing care for fear of social stigma. You don’t want to be the “killjoy”, “spoil sport” or “stick-in-the-mud”. So even though you may get a headache, experience ringing in your ears (tinnitus), or feel that you don’t hear as well for a few hours after exposure, you don’t ask for the music to be turned down or wear hearing protection. Recent research shows that the damage to the (hearing) hair cells is in fact permanent.
Neglected Hearing Loss.
With enough such exposure to overly loud sounds the cumulative effective is obvious difficulty in hearing. Some signs of such difficulty is needing people to speak louder or slower or have the TV turned up more than usual. This may occur gradually, so you may not realize until the loss is noticeable. Once the loss is severe enough, with social isolation and cognitive decline often compounding the situation, the damage is irreversible and the benefits of a hearing aid may be limited. Addressing the hearing loss while it is still mild and preserving your remaining hearing with conservation techniques will help avoid this auditory slippery slope.
Sudden Onset Hearing Loss (SOHL).
SOHL can be treated if addressed within days of the occurrence. It is easy to believe that with such an abrupt onset your ears will go back to normal just as quickly. However, if you wait too long, what was potentially reversible no longer will be. The sooner you have SOHL treated, the better the chances for a positive outcome, one in which your hearing loss actually does reverse rather than remain permanently. For SOHL it is preferable to get care from an audiologist in an ENT practice, since you will probably need a prescription for steroids and want this accomplished in a single visit. Remember, time is of the essence and you already spent a day or two monitoring the situation and may have had to wait a week to get an appointment.
Depression inducing auditory conditions.
This can include: tinnitus, misophonia, and auditory processing disorder. These conditions can cause a person to feel overwhelmed and/or isolated. While it is not in the purview of an audiologist to treat depression, we can help by addressing the auditory condition. It is best to do so before the situation reaches the point of depression. Most of these conditions get worse when left unattended. The worse it gets the more overwhelming and depressed the person feels, with suicide being a genuine concern.
Don’t Wait It Out Passively
Most people believe that it is a more prudent use of your time and money to adopt a “wait and see” approach. This is true only if you are actively monitoring the situation and you know how long it is safe to monitor it before pursuing intervention. Obviously in the case of indigestion/heart attack this window is a lot smaller than that for SOHL. Likewise, SOHL has a smaller window than tinnitus or misophonia. While depression inducing conditions have a longer window than the other conditions discussed here, the repercussions are far more serious and costly.
Asking the Right Questions:
What are the actions to actively monitor your hearing health?
How long can you safely monitor your particular situation without irreversible harm?
Do you have contact information for an appropriate professional, so that when you are ready to seek treatment you can do so expediently?
Take Your Hearing Health Into Your Own Hands
There is an expression, “time equals money”.
This works both ways.
It means the more time you spend working the more you should earn.
It also means that you can buy time by paying someone do tasks to free up your time to earn more money.
The reverse is true as well, in keeping with the expression a stitch in time saves nine.
When you address your hearing health proactively it saves you a lot of time and money down the road.
Additionally, what makes us human is connection. Connection relies largely on hearing. Take care of your hearing health so that you have an improved quality of life.
If you would like a consult to learn more about maintaining your hearing health, or to schedule an assessment go to our services page HERE