You’re supposed to use your hearing aids daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk jugs 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. Perhaps you even go a day, or a week, or maybe a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That isn’t a really good idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids numerous things occur and some things already developing get worse. And most of them, honestly, aren’t very good.
Consequences of Failing to Wear Your Hearing Aids
There will be consequences of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you don’t use your hearing aid. The effects and consequences of failing to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is fairly remarkable. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working efficiently (that’s the part of your brain responsible for the interpretation of sounds).
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you start turning the volume up on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you’re not increasing the volume, the missing sensory input leads to problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So you will probably end up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to wear your current pair because your hearing will keep getting worse.
Social Interactions Will Become More Challenging (And Less Frequent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the grocery store? They’re enjoyable, we think. In a world of technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
These day-to-day social connections suddenly become really difficult when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You need to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Over and over. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly falls apart. That might not sound serious but each time a scenario like this takes place, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And the outcome can be even more significant.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you isolate yourself. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or a pleasant evening dinner with your family. Without that exercise, particular mental processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Balance issues
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Memory problems
But there’s more. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulation. This can cause an even more accelerated mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even harder).
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and active when you use hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not uncommon, as you get older, to need a little more help. Perhaps you get a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are likely speeding up your loss of independence if you’re not wearing your hearing aids.
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. Perhaps you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s somebody at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he needs food.
What’s The Solution?
Using a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s issues, no matter how technologically inventive those little devices become. But many of the problems associated with failing to use your hearing aid can be resolved.
You should come see us for help if you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable.
It’s worth taking a little time to consider what the repercussions will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the advantages of wearing them might be.