You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids daily. But before you recycle your milk jugs, you’re supposed to rinse them out too. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer once in a while. You might even forget to wear it for more than one day.
That isn’t a really smart idea. Because there are numerous things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And most of them, to be honest, aren’t good.
Consequences of Failing to Wear Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you fail to use your hearing aids will affect both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. The effects and repercussions of failing to use your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is rather impressive. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running smoothly (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 may be doing further damage to your hearing. Even if you aren’t increasing the volume, the missing sensory input contributes to problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t wear 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).
It Will Become More Difficult to Interact Socially
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? They’re pleasant, we think. A nice little touch of humanity in a technological world.
These everyday social connections suddenly become really difficult when you don’t use your hearing aids. You frequently miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat what they said. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. That might not sound significant but every time a scenario like this takes place, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And the result can be even more serious.
Cognitive 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 dinner with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Balance issues
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Memory issues
But there’s more. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Without stimulation, certain nerves will begin to weaken, and your auditory complex starts to atrophy. This can make it more difficult to get used to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the mental decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not uncommon, as you age, to require a little more help. Perhaps you ask a family member to go to the store 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 accompanies aging.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can quickly become more difficult to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Perhaps you don’t 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?
Wearing a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s issues, regardless of how technologically inventive those little gadgets get. But many of the problems associated with failing to wear your hearing aid can be solved.
You need to come see us for help if you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they are not comfortable.
But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from 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 wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t use your hearing aids.