You’re supposed to use your hearing aids every day. But you’re also supposed to rinse out your milk jugs before recycling 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 one day.
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, honestly, the majority of them are kind of negative.
Effects And Consequences of Going Without 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 neglecting to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Level of Hearing Impairment Will Worsen
Hearing aids are remarkable devices. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working efficiently (that’s the region of your brain responsible for the interpretation of sounds).
If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, crank your TV up to an even louder volume, you might be doing additional damage to your hearing. 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 probably wind 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 checking out at the supermarket? Those conversations are pleasant. In a world dominated by 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 challenging. You need to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Over and over. And after that, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. That might not sound serious but each time a situation like this happens, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And the result can be even more significant.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you seclude yourself. Think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel after a good chat or an enjoyable evening dinner with your family. Without that exercise, certain cognitive processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory problems
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Balance issues
But that’s not all. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulation. This can make it harder to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the cognitive decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a little more help, as you get older, is not uncommon. Perhaps you ask a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that often comes with aging.
You can miss phone calls or lose parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t wear your hearing aids. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Perhaps you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he needs food.
What’s The Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids get, they won’t solve all of life’s problems. But they will solve a lot of the issues associated with not using your hearing aids.
You need to come see us for assistance if you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they are not comfortable.
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid using your hearing aids, if you’re just leaving them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking some time to reflect on what could be gained by using them… and what might happen if you don’t use your hearing aids.