Hearing aids are meant to be used daily. But before you recycle your milk jugs, you’re supposed to wash them out too. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. It’s the same for hearing aids. Sometimes we forget to bring them with us. You may even forget to wear it for more than one day.
That isn’t a very good idea. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids several things occur and some things already happening get worse. And most of them, to be honest, aren’t very good.
Effects And Consequences of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you don’t use your hearing aids will affect 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 Continue to Diminish
The technology of hearing aids is pretty impressive. They enhance your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
You could damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you start cranking the volume up on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re not increasing the volume, the missing sensory input leads to issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So you will probably end up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to use your current pair because your hearing will keep getting worse.
It Will Become More Difficult to Interact Socially
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the grocery store? They’re enjoyable, we think. In a world dominated by technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can quickly become much more difficult. You frequently 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. Perhaps that sounds trivial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier to completely isolate yourself socially. And that can lead to even more substantial problems.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
When you separate yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. Think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or an enjoyable evening meal 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 issues
- Balance troubles
But that’s not the entire picture. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that need to hear sounds. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. 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 wear hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
Needing a little more help, as you age, is not uncommon. Maybe you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with groceries more often. You are probably to accelerate 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. Perhaps you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he’s hungry.
Is There Any Solution?
Using a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s problems, no matter how technologically inventive those little gadgets get. But they will solve a lot of the problems associated with not using your hearing aids.
If you’re having trouble with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable, that’s one thing (and you should consult us about getting solutions to those particular issues).
But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from using your hearing aids, if you’re just leaving them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking some time to consider what could be gained by using them… and what could happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.