Hearing aids are meant to be used daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to wash 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 occasionally. You may even forget to wear it for more than one day.
That’s not good. Because there are several things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And, to be honest, the majority of them are kind of bad.
Consequences of Neglecting to Wear Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you don’t use your hearing aids will affect both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. Here are some of those effects and consequences.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is fairly impressive. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working smoothly (that’s the region of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
You could damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you begin turning up the volume on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, problems with your brain can result from missing sensory input. (It actually shrinks.) So you will probably end 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.
Social Engagement Will Become More Challenging (And Less Frequent)
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? They’re pleasant, we think. A nice little bit of humanity in a technological world.
These day-to-day social interactions suddenly become really difficult when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You repeatedly 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. Maybe that sounds trivial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier for you to entirely seclude yourself socially. And that can result in even bigger problems.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
When you separate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. Think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or a pleasant evening meal with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Balance troubles
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Memory problems
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 begin to weaken, and your auditory complex starts to atrophy. This can lead to an even more accelerated cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even more difficult).
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and active when you wear hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a bit more help, as you age, is not abnormal. Perhaps you ask a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with supplies more often. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that frequently 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 don’t hear your cat meowing at night for food or your dog barking at someone knocking on your door.
What’s The Solution?
Using a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s problems, regardless of how technologically inventive those little devices get. But many of the problems linked to 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’re not comfortable.
It’s worth taking some time to consider what the repercussions will be if you avoid wearing your hearing aids and also what the benefits of using them may be.