You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk containers before recycling them. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer occasionally. Maybe you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without wearing your hearing aids.
That’s not good. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids a number of things occur and some things already developing get worse. And, to be honest, the majority of them are kind of bad.
Consequences of Neglecting to Use Your Hearing Aids
There will be consequences of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you don’t wear your hearing aid. Here are some of those effects and repercussions.
Your Degree of Hearing Loss Will Worsen
The technology of hearing aids is pretty remarkable. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working efficiently (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 start turning up the volume on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you’re not increasing the volume, the missing sensory input contributes to issues with your brain. (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 in the near future).
Social Engagement Will Become More Difficult (And Less Consistent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the supermarket? They’re enjoyable, we think. A nice little bit of humanity in a technological world.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these simple social interactions can suddenly be much more stressful. You regularly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat what they said. Again and again. And after that, the conversation just quickly falls apart. That may not sound serious but each time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And that can result in even more substantial issues.
Hearing Aids And Mental Decline
When you seclude yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. After you have a nice conversation with your family, think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Memory problems
- Balance issues
- Declines in energy or productivity
But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain regions of your nervous system and brain. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can make it harder to adjust to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the mental decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Loss of Independence
It’s not unusual, as you age, to need a bit more help. Perhaps you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your daughter to swing by with groceries more often. You are likely speeding up your loss of independence if you’re not wearing 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. You might miss important weather alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he’s hungry.
What’s The Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s problems, no matter how technologically inventive those little devices get. But they will solve many issues related to not using your hearing aids.
You need to come see us for help if you’re having difficulty with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable.
But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from using your hearing aids, if you’re just forgetting them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to reflect on what could be gained by using them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.