Hearing aids are meant to be used 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 once in a while. Maybe you even go a day, or a week, or maybe a few weeks (a month?) without wearing your hearing aids.
That isn’t a really smart idea. Because there are several things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And most of them, honestly, aren’t good.
Consequences of Failing to Wear Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you fail to use your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. Here are a few of those effects and consequences.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
Hearing aids are impressive gadgets. They enhance your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) running efficiently.
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you begin turning the volume up on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, problems with your brain can result from the lack of sensory input. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t wear your hearing aids, your hearing will likely keep getting worse (which means 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 dominated by technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
These everyday social connections suddenly become very difficult when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You frequently miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat what they said. Again and again. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly falls apart. Perhaps that sounds superficial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier to totally seclude yourself socially. And the consequences can be even more serious.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
When you seclude 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. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Balance troubles
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Memory problems
But that’s not the entire picture. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulation. This can make it more difficult to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the mental decline.
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and active when you wear hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
It’s not uncommon, as you get older, to need a little more help. 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 expediting 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. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Maybe you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he’s hungry.
Is There Any Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids get, they won’t resolve all of life’s problems. But they will solve many problems associated with not using your hearing aids.
You should come see us for help if you’re having difficulty with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable.
It’s worth taking some time to think about what the repercussions will be if you avoid wearing your hearing aids and also what the advantages of using them might be.