You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk containers before you recycle them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. The same goes for hearing aids. Occasionally we forget to take them with us. You may even forget to use it for more than a day.
That’s not great. Because there are a number of things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And, to be honest, the majority of them are kind of negative.
Consequences of Neglecting to Wear 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 use your hearing aid. Here are some of those effects and consequences.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is rather impressive. They improve your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) functioning efficiently.
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you begin turning the volume up on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, problems with your brain can result from missing sensory input. (It actually shrinks.) So you will probably wind 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 Stressful (And Less Consistent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the supermarket? They’re pleasant, we think. A nice little touch of humanity in a technological world.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these simple social interactions can suddenly be much more stressful. You need to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Over and over. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. That may not sound serious but each time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And the consequences can be even more serious.
Hearing Aids And Mental Decline
Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you seclude yourself. Think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel after a good chat or a pleasant evening dinner with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Memory problems
- Balance issues
- Declines in energy or productivity
But there’s more. Because there are certain parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulus. This can cause an even more accelerated mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even more difficult).
Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Loss of Independence
Needing a bit more help, as you get older, is not abnormal. Maybe you ask a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that frequently accompanies aging.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can rapidly become harder to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. You may miss important weather alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your dog barking when there’s somebody at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he’s hungry.
What’s The Solution?
Using a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s problems, no matter how technologically inventive those little devices become. But many of the problems linked to failing to use your hearing aid can be resolved.
You should come see us for assistance if you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they are uncomfortable.
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid 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 could be gained by using them… and what could happen if you don’t use your hearing aids.