You’re supposed to use your hearing aids every day. But before you recycle your milk jugs, you’re supposed to wash them out too. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer now and then. You may even forget to use it for more than one day.
That isn’t a very smart 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 very good.
Consequences of Failing to Wear Your Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you fail to wear your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. The effects and consequences of failing to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
Hearing aids are remarkable devices. They improve your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) functioning efficiently.
If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, crank up your TV to an even higher volume, you could be doing further damage to your hearing. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, issues with your brain can result from missing sensory input. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use your hearing aids, your hearing will likely continue to get worse (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids before long).
Social Engagement Will Become More Challenging (And Less Frequent)
You know those short interactions you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the supermarket? Those conversations are nice. A nice little bit of humanity in a technological world.
These day-to-day social connections suddenly become really hard when you don’t use your hearing aids. You have to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. Perhaps that sounds superficial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier to completely isolate yourself socially. And that can result in even more substantial problems.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. After you have a pleasant conversation with your family, think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Memory issues
- Balance issues
- Declines in productivity or energy
But that’s not the entire picture. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulation. This can make it harder to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the cognitive decline.
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and engaged when you use hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
Needing a bit more help, as you get older, is not uncommon. Perhaps you get a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with groceries more often. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that frequently comes with aging.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can rapidly become more difficult to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. It’s possible that you will miss important 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 issues. But many of the issues connected to failing to wear your hearing aid can be solved.
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 consequences will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the advantages of wearing them may be.