You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk containers before recycling them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of their storage container once in a while. You may even forget to wear it for more than a day.
That isn’t a really good idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids a number of things happen and some things already happening get worse. And most of them, to be honest, aren’t good.
Effects And Consequences of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
There will be repercussions of varying degrees of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to wear your hearing aid. Here are a few of those effects and repercussions.
Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish
Hearing aids are remarkable gadgets. They improve your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
You could damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you start cranking up the volume on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you aren’t boosting the volume, the lack of sensory input leads to problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use your hearing aids, your hearing will likely continue to get worse (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids in the near future).
It Will Become More Difficult to Engage Socially
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the supermarket? They’re enjoyable, we think. In a world of technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.
These normal social connections suddenly become really hard when you don’t use your hearing aids. You regularly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat themselves. Over and over. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. Perhaps that sounds superficial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier to completely isolate yourself socially. And the result can be even more serious.
Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or an enjoyable evening dinner with your family. Without that exercise, certain cognitive processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Balance issues
- Memory problems
But that’s not all. Because there are certain parts of your brain and nervous system that need to hear sounds. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulation. This can make it more difficult to adjust to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the mental decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a bit more help, as you get older, is not abnormal. Perhaps you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your daughter to swing by with groceries more often. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be speeding up the loss of independence that frequently comes with aging.
You can miss phone calls or lose parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You might miss important weather alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your dog barking when there’s somebody at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he’s hungry.
Is There Any Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s issues, no matter how technologically inventive those little gadgets become. But many of the issues connected to failing to use your hearing aid can be resolved.
You need to come see us for help if you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable.
But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from using your hearing aids, if you’re just forgetting them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to think about what may be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t use your hearing aids.