You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to rinse them out too. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. It’s the same for hearing aids. Occasionally we forget to take them with us. Perhaps 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 there are numerous things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And the majority of them, honestly, aren’t good.
Consequences of Failing to Wear Your Hearing Aids
There will be repercussions of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to wear your hearing aid. The effects and consequences of failing to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish
The technology of hearing aids is rather remarkable. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running efficiently (that’s the part of your brain responsible for the interpretation of sounds).
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, crank up your TV to an even louder volume, you might be doing further damage to your hearing. Even if you aren’t increasing the volume, the missing sensory input results in issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll probably end up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to wear your current pair because your hearing will continue to get worse.
Social Interactions Will Become More Difficult (And Less Frequent)
You know those short interactions you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the supermarket? They’re pleasant, we think. In a world of technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these basic social connections can suddenly be a lot more stressful. You need to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. That may not sound significant but every time a situation like this takes place, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And the consequences can be even more serious.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. After you have a nice conversation with your family, think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Memory problems
- Balance issues
But that’s not all. Because there are certain parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulation. This can lead to an even more rapid cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even harder).
Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, 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 shopping 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 could miss important weather alerts. Perhaps you don’t hear your cat meowing at night for food or your dog barking at someone ringing your doorbell.
Is There Any Solution?
Using a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s issues, regardless of how technologically inventive those little devices become. But many of the issues linked to failing to use your hearing aid can be solved.
If you’re having trouble 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 particular problems).
It’s worth taking some time to consider what the repercussions will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the advantages of wearing them may be.