Hearing aids are supposed to be used 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. Occasionally we forget to take them with us. Maybe you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without wearing your hearing aids.
That isn’t a very smart idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids a number of things happen and some things already happening get worse. And, to be honest, the majority of them are kind of bad.
Effects And Repercussions of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
There will be consequences of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to use your hearing aid. Here are a few of those effects and consequences.
Your Degree of Hearing Impairment Will Get Worse
Hearing aids are amazing gadgets. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running smoothly (that’s the region of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, crank up your TV to an even louder volume, you might be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, problems with your brain can result from the lack of sensory stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So you will most likely end 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 interactions you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the grocery store? They’re enjoyable, we think. A nice little bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can quickly become a lot more difficult. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat themselves. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. Maybe that sounds superficial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier for you to entirely isolate yourself socially. And that can result in even more substantial issues.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or a pleasant evening dinner with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Memory issues
- Balance issues
But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Your auditory complex begins 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 speed up cognitive decline.
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and engaged when you use hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a little more help, as you age, is not abnormal. Perhaps you ask a family member to go to the store for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aid, you could be speeding up the loss of independence that frequently accompanies aging.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can rapidly 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 at night for food or your dog barking at someone knocking on your door.
What’s The Solution?
No matter how technologically advanced hearing aids get, they won’t solve all of life’s issues. But many of the problems associated with failing to wear your hearing aid can be resolved.
You should come see us for assistance if you’re having difficulty with your hearing aids or if they are uncomfortable.
It’s worth taking a little time to think about what the consequences will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the benefits of using them may be.