Hearing aids are meant to be worn daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk jugs before you recycle them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. The same goes for hearing aids. Occasionally we forget to take them with us. You might even forget to wear it for more than a day.
That isn’t a very smart idea. Because there are numerous things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And most of them, honestly, aren’t very good.
Effects And Consequences of Going Without Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you fail to wear your hearing aids will affect both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. The effects and consequences of failing to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Degree of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse
The technology of hearing aids is fairly impressive. They increase your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) running efficiently.
You may damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you start cranking up the volume on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, problems with your brain can result from the lack of sensory input. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll 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 Consistent)
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? They’re enjoyable, we think. In a world of technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these simple social connections can quickly become much more stressful. You need to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. That may not sound serious but every time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And that can cause even bigger problems.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
When you separate yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. After you have a pleasant conversation with your family, think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, certain mental processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory issues
- Balance troubles
- Declines in energy or productivity
But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain regions of your brain and nervous system. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex starts to atrophy. This can result in an even more accelerated cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even more challenging).
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Loss of Independence
Needing a little more help, as you age, is not uncommon. Perhaps you ask a family member to go to the store for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are probably to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not using your hearing aids.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can rapidly become more difficult to answer the phone or talk with your neighbor. You might miss important weather alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your dog barking when there’s somebody at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he needs food.
What’s The Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s issues, regardless of how technologically innovative those little devices get. But they will solve a lot of the issues related to not wearing your hearing aids.
You need to come see us for help if you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they are uncomfortable.
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid 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 using them… and what could happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.