You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids every day. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk jugs 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 bring them with us. Perhaps you even go a day, or a week, or maybe a few weeks (a month?) without wearing your hearing aids.
That’s not great. Because there are numerous things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And, honestly, most of them are kind of negative.
Effects And Consequences of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
There will be repercussions of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you don’t wear your hearing aid. The effects and consequences of neglecting to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Degree of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse
The technology of hearing aids is rather remarkable. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working efficiently (that’s the region of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, crank your TV up to an even louder volume, you might be doing further damage to your hearing. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, problems with your brain can result from missing 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 Difficult (And Less Consistent)
You know those short interactions you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the supermarket? They’re enjoyable, we think. A nice little bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these simple social connections can suddenly be much more challenging. You regularly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat what they said. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. That may not sound significant but each time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And that can cause even more substantial issues.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
When you seclude yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. Think about how revitalized (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 productivity or energy
- Memory problems
- Balance troubles
But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain regions of your brain and nervous system. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulus. This can make it more difficult to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case speed up mental decline.
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and active when you wear hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
It’s not uncommon, as you age, to need a bit more help. Maybe you get 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 expediting the loss of independence that frequently accompanies aging.
You can miss phone calls or lose parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You could miss important weather alerts. Perhaps you don’t hear your cat meowing for food at night or your dog barking at somebody ringing your doorbell.
What’s The Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s issues, regardless of how technologically innovative those little gadgets get. But many of the problems associated with failing to wear your hearing aid can be resolved.
You should come see us for help if you’re having problems 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 advantages of wearing them may be.