You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids daily. But you’re also supposed to rinse out your milk containers before you recycle them. Occasionally, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. It’s the same for hearing aids. Sometimes we forget to bring them with us. You might even forget to use it for more than a day.
That’s not great. Because there are numerous things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And the majority of them, to be honest, aren’t good.
Effects And Repercussions of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you fail to wear your hearing aids will affect both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. The effects and consequences of failing to use your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish
The technology of hearing aids is pretty impressive. They improve your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
You may damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you begin turning up the volume 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 stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So you will probably wind 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 Challenging (And Less Consistent)
You know those short interactions you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the supermarket? They’re pleasant, we think. A nice little bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can suddenly be a lot more challenging. You regularly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat themselves. Again and again. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. That might not sound significant but each time a situation like this happens, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And the result can be even more significant.
Hearing Aids And Mental Decline
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good chat or an enjoyable evening dinner with your family. Without that exercise, particular cognitive processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory problems
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Balance troubles
But that’s not the entire picture. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain regions of your brain and nervous system. Without stimulation, certain nerves will begin to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can result in an even more rapid cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even more challenging).
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and engaged when you use hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
It’s not unusual, as you get older, to need a little more help. Perhaps you get 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 frequently comes with aging.
You can miss phone calls or fail to hear 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 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 innovative those little gadgets become. But many of the issues connected 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 not comfortable.
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid using your hearing aids, if you’re just forgetting them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to reflect on what could be gained by using them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.