Hearing aids are supposed to be worn daily. 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. Sometimes we forget to bring them with us. Maybe you even go a day, or a week, or maybe a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That isn’t a very smart idea. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids several things happen and some things already happening get worse. And the majority of them, honestly, aren’t good.
Effects And Repercussions of Not Using 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 consequences of neglecting to use your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Level of Hearing Impairment Will Get Worse
The technology of hearing aids is rather impressive. They enhance your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
You may damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you start turning the volume up on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, issues with your brain can result from the lack of sensory input. (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 before long).
Social Interactions Will Become More Stressful (And Less Frequent)
You know those short conversations 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 interactions can quickly become a lot more stressful. You regularly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat themselves. Over and over. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. That may not sound significant but each time a situation like this takes place, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And that can result in even more substantial problems.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
When you separate 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:
- Memory problems
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Balance troubles
But there’s more. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that need to hear sounds. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex starts to atrophy. This can make it harder to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case speed up cognitive decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a little more help, as you get older, is not uncommon. Maybe you get a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are likely 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 harder 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 cat meowing for food at night or your dog barking at somebody knocking on your door.
What’s The Solution?
No matter how technologically advanced hearing aids get, they won’t resolve all of life’s problems. But many of the issues linked to failing to use your hearing aid can be resolved.
You should come see us for assistance if you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they are uncomfortable.
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid using your hearing aids, if you’re just forgetting them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to think about what could be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t use your hearing aids.