You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids every day. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to wash them out too. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. It’s the same for hearing aids. Occasionally we forget to take them with us. You may even forget to wear it for more than one day.
That’s not great. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids numerous things occur and some things already developing get worse. And most of them, honestly, aren’t very good.
Effects And Consequences of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you don’t 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 repercussions.
Your Level of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse
Hearing aids are impressive devices. They improve your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) functioning efficiently.
You could damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you start cranking up the volume 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’ll probably end 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 Engagement Will Become More Stressful (And Less Consistent)
You know those short interactions you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the grocery store? They’re enjoyable, we think. A nice little touch of humanity in a technology-driven world.
These day-to-day social connections suddenly become really hard when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You have to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Again and again. And after that, the conversation just quickly falls apart. That might not sound serious but each time a scenario like this happens, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And that can lead to even bigger issues.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you seclude yourself. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good chat or a pleasant evening dinner with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Memory issues
- Balance troubles
But there’s more. Because there are certain parts of your brain and nervous system that need to hear sounds. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulation. This can make it harder to adjust to your new hearing aids and in the worst case speed up cognitive decline.
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and active when you use hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a bit more help, as you age, is not abnormal. Perhaps you get a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. If you aren’t wearing 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 rapidly become harder to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Maybe you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he’s hungry.
Is There Any Solution?
Using a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s problems, no matter how technologically inventive those little devices become. But they will solve a lot of the issues connected with not wearing your hearing aids.
If you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable, that’s one thing (and you should speak with us about finding solutions to those specific problems).
But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from using your hearing aids, if you’re just leaving them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to reflect on what might be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t use your hearing aids.