You’re supposed to use your hearing aids every day. But you’re also supposed to rinse out your milk jugs before recycling them. Occasionally, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. The same goes for hearing aids. Sometimes we forget to take them with us. You might even forget to wear it for more than one day.
That’s not good. Because there are numerous things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And, to be honest, most of them are rather bad.
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 Level of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse
The technology of hearing aids is rather amazing. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working efficiently (that’s the part of your brain responsible for the interpretation of sounds).
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you begin cranking 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 stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll most likely 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.
It Will Become More Challenging to Engage Socially
You know those short interactions you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the grocery store? 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 quickly become a lot more challenging. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat what they said. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. Perhaps that sounds trivial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier to entirely seclude yourself socially. And that can lead to even more substantial problems.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
When you separate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. After you have a nice 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:
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Memory issues
- Balance troubles
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 begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulus. This can lead to an even more rapid cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even more difficult).
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and active when you wear hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
Needing a little more help, as you age, is not abnormal. Perhaps you get a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your daughter to swing by with groceries more often. You are likely speeding up your loss of independence if you’re not wearing your hearing aids.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can quickly become harder 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 for food at night or your dog barking at someone knocking on your door.
What’s The Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s issues, regardless of how technologically inventive those little devices get. But they will solve many problems associated with not using your hearing aids.
You need to come see us for help if you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable.
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid using your hearing aids, if you’re just leaving them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking some time to consider what might be gained by wearing them… and what could happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.