You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids every day. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk jugs before recycling them. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of their storage container occasionally. You might even forget to wear it for more than a 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, to be honest, most of them are kind of bad.
Consequences of Neglecting to Wear Your Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you don’t use your hearing aids will affect both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. The effects and repercussions of failing to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Level of Hearing Loss Will Worsen
The technology of hearing aids is pretty amazing. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running efficiently (that’s the part of your brain responsible for the interpretation of sounds).
If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, turn your TV up to an even higher volume, you may be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, problems with your brain can result from the lack of sensory stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So you will probably end up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to use your current pair because your hearing will continue to get worse.
Social Interactions Will Become More Difficult (And Less Frequent)
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. A nice little bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these basic social connections can quickly become a lot more challenging. You need to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Over and over. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly falls apart. Perhaps that sounds superficial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier for you to completely seclude yourself socially. And the consequences can be even more serious.
Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you isolate yourself. After you have a pleasant conversation with your family, think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, particular mental processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory issues
- Balance issues
- Declines in productivity or energy
But that’s not the entire picture. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can result in an even more accelerated cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even more difficult).
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and engaged when you use hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
Needing a little more help, as you age, is not uncommon. Maybe you ask a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your daughter to swing by with supplies more often. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be speeding up the loss of independence that often accompanies 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 may miss important weather alerts. Perhaps you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he needs food.
Is There Any Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s problems, no matter how technologically inventive those little devices become. But they will solve many issues associated with not wearing your hearing aids.
You need to come see us for assistance if you’re having difficulty with your hearing aids or if they are uncomfortable.
But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from wearing your hearing aids, if you’re just leaving them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to think about what might be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t use your hearing aids.