Hearing aids are meant to be used 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. The same goes for hearing aids. Occasionally we forget to take them with us. Maybe you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That isn’t a very good idea. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids numerous things occur and some things already developing get worse. And the majority of them, to be honest, aren’t very good.
Consequences of Forgetting to Wear Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you fail to wear your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. Here are some of those effects and consequences.
Your Degree of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse
The technology of hearing aids is fairly remarkable. They increase your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) running efficiently.
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you begin turning the volume up on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you’re not boosting the volume, the lack of sensory input leads to problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So you will most likely wind up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to wear your current pair because your hearing will continue to get worse.
It Will Become More Challenging to Engage Socially
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. A nice little bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can quickly become much more challenging. You need to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. That might not sound serious but each time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And the outcome can be even more significant.
Hearing Aids And Mental Decline
When you separate yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. After you have a pleasant conversation with your family, think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, particular cognitive processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory issues
- Balance troubles
- Declines in productivity or energy
But that’s not all. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain regions of your nervous system and brain. Without stimulation, certain nerves will begin to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can lead to an even more rapid mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even more challenging).
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and engaged when you use hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not unusual, as you get older, to require a bit more help. Perhaps you get 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 accompanies aging.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can quickly become harder to answer the phone or talk with your neighbor. You may miss important weather alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your dog barking when there’s somebody at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he needs food.
What’s The Solution?
Using a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s issues, regardless of how technologically inventive those little devices become. But many of the problems linked to failing to wear your hearing aid can be solved.
You need to come see us for help if you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable.
It’s worth taking some time to think about what the repercussions will be if you avoid wearing your hearing aids and also what the benefits of wearing them might be.