Hearing aids are meant to be worn daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk containers before recycling them. Occasionally, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of their storage container now and then. You might even forget to use it for more than one day.
That isn’t a very good idea. Because there are a number of things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And the majority of them, honestly, aren’t good.
Consequences of Failing to Use Your Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you don’t wear your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. Here are a few of those effects and consequences.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is fairly impressive. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working smoothly (that’s the region of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you start cranking up the volume on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re not raising the volume, the lack of sensory input leads to issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t wear your hearing aids, your hearing will most likely continue to get worse (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids before long).
It Will Become More Difficult to Engage Socially
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. A nice little touch of humanity in a technology-driven world.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can suddenly be much more difficult. You have to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. Perhaps that sounds superficial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier to entirely separate yourself socially. And that can result in even more substantial problems.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you isolate yourself. After you have a nice conversation with your family, think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, certain cognitive processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory issues
- Balance troubles
- Declines in productivity or energy
But there’s more. Because there are certain parts of your brain and nervous system that need to hear sounds. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulus. This can lead to an even more rapid cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even more challenging).
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not unusual, as you get older, to require a bit more help. Perhaps you get a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with groceries more often. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that frequently comes with aging.
You can miss phone calls or fail to hear parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t use your hearing aids. You could miss important weather alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your cat meowing at night for food or your dog barking at somebody knocking on your door.
What’s The Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids become, they won’t solve all of life’s problems. But many of the problems linked 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 are not comfortable.
It’s worth taking some time to think about what the consequences will be if you avoid wearing your hearing aids and also what the benefits of wearing them may be.