You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids every day. But before you recycle your milk jugs, you’re supposed to wash them out too. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of their storage container now and then. Maybe you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without wearing your hearing aids.
That’s not good. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids numerous things happen and some things already happening get worse. And, honestly, most of them are rather bad.
Effects And Repercussions of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you don’t use your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. Here are a few of those effects and consequences.
Your Level of Hearing Impairment Will Worsen
Hearing aids are remarkable gadgets. 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 part of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, turn up your TV to an even louder volume, you may be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, 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 use your current pair because your hearing will continue to get worse.
Social Interactions Will Become More Stressful (And Less Frequent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the supermarket? They’re pleasant, we think. In a world dominated by technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.
These day-to-day social connections suddenly become very hard when you don’t use your hearing aids. You have to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. Perhaps that sounds trivial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier for you to entirely isolate yourself socially. And the outcome can be even more significant.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you seclude yourself. 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:
- Memory problems
- Balance issues
- Declines in productivity or energy
But that’s not the entire picture. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain parts of your nervous system and brain. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulus. This can cause an even more accelerated cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even harder).
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and engaged when you wear hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a bit more help, as you age, is not uncommon. Perhaps you ask a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with supplies 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 rapidly become more difficult to answer the phone or talk with your neighbor. You might miss important weather alerts. Perhaps you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s somebody at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he needs food.
What’s The Solution?
Using a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s problems, regardless of how technologically innovative those little devices get. But many of the problems connected to failing to wear your hearing aid can be solved.
If you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable, that’s one thing (and you should speak with us about getting solutions to those specific problems).
But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from using your hearing aids, if you’re just forgetting them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking some time to consider what might be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.