Hearing aids are meant to be used daily. But you’re also supposed to rinse out your milk containers before recycling them. Occasionally, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. The same goes for hearing aids. Occasionally we forget to bring them with us. Perhaps 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 there are several things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And most of them, honestly, aren’t very good.
Effects And Repercussions of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
There will be consequences of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to wear your hearing aid. Here are some of those effects and consequences.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
Hearing aids are amazing 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 region of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, turn up your TV to an even louder volume, you might be doing further damage to your hearing. Even if you aren’t raising the volume, the lack of sensory input results in issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use your hearing aids, your hearing will likely continue to get worse (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids before long).
It Will Become More Difficult to Interact Socially
You know those short interactions you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the supermarket? They’re pleasant, we think. A nice little touch of humanity in a technological world.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can quickly become a lot more stressful. You need to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. That might not sound significant but each time a situation like this happens, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And that can cause even bigger issues.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. After you have a pleasant conversation with your family, think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, certain cognitive processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory issues
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Balance troubles
But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain regions of your brain and nervous system. 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 speed up mental decline.
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and active when you wear hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not unusual, as you get older, to require a little more help. Perhaps you get a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are probably 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 more difficult to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Perhaps you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s somebody at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he’s hungry.
What’s The Solution?
Using a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s problems, regardless of how technologically innovative those little gadgets get. But many of the problems associated with failing to use your hearing aid can be resolved.
You need to come see us for assistance 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 leaving them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking some time to consider what could be gained by using them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.