Hearing aids are supposed to be used daily. But before you recycle your milk jugs, you’re supposed to wash them out too. Occasionally, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. It’s the same for hearing aids. Sometimes we forget to bring them with us. You might even forget to wear it for more than one day.
That isn’t a very good idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids several things happen and some things already happening get worse. And most of them, honestly, aren’t good.
Consequences of Neglecting to Wear Your Hearing Aids
There will be consequences of varying degrees of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you don’t wear your hearing aid. Here are a few of those effects and repercussions.
Your Degree of Hearing Loss Will Worsen
Hearing aids are impressive gadgets. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running smoothly (that’s the part of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you begin cranking the volume up on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you’re not increasing the volume, the missing sensory input results in problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll probably wind up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to wear your current pair because your hearing will keep getting worse.
Social Interactions Will Become More Stressful (And Less Frequent)
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? Those conversations are nice. A nice little bit of humanity in a technological world.
These everyday social interactions suddenly become very hard when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You frequently miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat themselves. Again and again. And after that, the conversation just quickly falls apart. That may not sound significant but each 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 isolate yourself. After you have a pleasant conversation with your family, think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, certain mental processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory problems
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Balance troubles
But that’s not all. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain regions of your nervous system and brain. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulus. This can cause an even more accelerated cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even harder).
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and active when you use hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a little more help, as you age, is not abnormal. 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 fail to hear parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You may miss important weather alerts. Perhaps you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he needs food.
What’s The Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids become, they won’t resolve all of life’s problems. But many of the issues linked to 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 wearing 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 could happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.