You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids every day. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk containers before recycling them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer occasionally. Maybe you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without wearing your hearing aids.
That isn’t a very smart idea. Because there are a number of things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And most of them, to be honest, aren’t good.
Effects And Repercussions of Going Without Hearing Aids
There will be repercussions of varying degrees of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to use your hearing aid. Here are a few of those effects and repercussions.
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 working smoothly (that’s the part of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, crank up your TV to an even higher volume, you could be doing further 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’ll 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.
Social Interactions Will Become More Challenging (And Less Frequent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the supermarket? Those conversations are pleasant. A nice little touch of humanity in a technology-driven world.
These normal social interactions suddenly become very hard when you don’t use your hearing aids. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat themselves. Over and over. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly falls apart. That might 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 problems.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
When you isolate 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, particular cognitive processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Balance issues
- Memory issues
- Declines in energy or productivity
But that’s not the entire picture. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain parts of your nervous system and brain. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can result in an even more accelerated cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even more challenging).
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and engaged when you wear hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
Needing a bit more help, as you get older, is not abnormal. Perhaps you get 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.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can quickly become more difficult to answer the phone or talk with your neighbor. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Maybe you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s somebody at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he’s hungry.
What’s The Solution?
Using a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s issues, regardless of how technologically innovative those little devices become. But they will solve many issues connected with not wearing your hearing aids.
If you’re having trouble with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable, that’s one thing (and you should consult us about getting solutions to those particular problems).
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid wearing your hearing aids, if you’re just leaving them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking some time to think about what could be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.