Hearing aids are meant to be worn daily. But you’re also supposed to rinse out your milk jugs before you recycle them. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of their storage container occasionally. Maybe 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 when you don’t use your hearing aids a number of things happen and some things already developing get worse. And most of them, honestly, aren’t very good.
Effects And Consequences of Going Without Hearing Aids
There will be consequences of varying degrees of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to wear your hearing aid. 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 pretty amazing. They enhance your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
You may damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you start cranking up the volume on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you aren’t increasing the volume, the missing sensory input results in issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use your hearing aids, your hearing will likely continue to get worse (which means you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids in the near future).
Social Engagement Will Become More Difficult (And Less Consistent)
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. In a world dominated by technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these basic social connections can quickly become much more challenging. You need to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Over and over. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. That might not sound serious but every time a scenario like this happens, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And the consequences can be even more serious.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you seclude yourself. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good chat or an enjoyable evening meal with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Memory issues
- Balance issues
But that’s not all. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can make it harder to adjust to your new hearing aids and in the worst case speed up mental decline.
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and active when you wear hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
Needing a bit more help, as you get older, is not uncommon. Maybe you ask a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aid, you could be speeding up 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 use your hearing aids. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he’s hungry.
Is There Any Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids become, they won’t solve all of life’s problems. But many of the problems associated with failing to use your hearing aid can be resolved.
You should come see us for assistance if you’re having difficulty with your hearing aids or if they are uncomfortable.
It’s worth taking a little time to consider what the consequences will be if you avoid wearing your hearing aids and also what the benefits of using them may be.