You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk jugs before you recycle them. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer once in a while. Perhaps you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That isn’t a very good idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids numerous things occur and some things already happening get worse. And, to be honest, the majority of them are kind of negative.
Effects And Consequences of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you fail to use your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. The effects and repercussions of neglecting to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is rather amazing. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running smoothly (that’s the part 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 not raising the volume, the lack of sensory input results in issues with your brain. (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.
It Will Become More Difficult to Interact Socially
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? They’re pleasant, we think. In a world of technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can suddenly be a lot more difficult. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat what they said. Over and over. And after that, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. Perhaps that sounds superficial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier for you to totally isolate yourself socially. And that can lead to even bigger problems.
Hearing Aids And Mental Decline
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or a pleasant evening meal with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Balance troubles
- Memory issues
- Declines in productivity or energy
But that’s not the entire picture. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulus. This can make it harder to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case speed up cognitive decline.
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and engaged when you use hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a little more help, as you get older, is not uncommon. Perhaps you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your daughter to swing by with supplies more often. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that often accompanies aging.
You can miss phone calls or fail to hear parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t use your hearing aids. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Maybe you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he needs food.
Is There Any Solution?
No matter how technologically advanced hearing aids get, they won’t resolve all of life’s issues. But they will solve many problems connected with not wearing 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 talk to us about getting solutions to those particular issues).
But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from wearing your hearing aids, if you’re just forgetting them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to reflect on what could be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.