Hearing aids are meant to be worn daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to rinse them out too. Sometimes, we don’t do the things 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’s not good. Because there are a number of things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And, to be honest, the majority of them are rather bad.
Consequences of Neglecting to Use 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. Here are a few of those effects and consequences.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
Hearing aids are impressive devices. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running smoothly (that’s the region of your brain responsible for the interpretation of sounds).
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, turn up your TV to an even louder volume, you might be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you aren’t raising the volume, the lack of sensory input contributes to problems with your brain. (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.
Social Interactions Will Become More Stressful (And Less Consistent)
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. In a world of technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.
These day-to-day social connections suddenly become really difficult when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You need to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Again and again. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly falls apart. That might not sound significant but each time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And the outcome can be even more significant.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
When you separate yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or an enjoyable evening dinner with your family. Without that exercise, particular cognitive processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Balance troubles
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Memory issues
But that’s not the entire picture. 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 deteriorate from lack of stimulation. This can make it harder to adjust to your new hearing aids and in the worst case speed up cognitive decline.
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and active when you wear hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a little more help, as you get older, 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.
You can miss phone calls or lose parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t use your hearing aids. You may miss important weather 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?
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 use 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 some time to consider what the consequences will be if you avoid wearing your hearing aids and also what the benefits of using them may be.