You’re supposed to use your hearing aids daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk jugs before recycling them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of their storage container occasionally. Perhaps you even go a day, or a week, or maybe a few weeks (a month?) without wearing your hearing aids.
That’s not good. Because when you don’t wear 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 Going Without Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you fail to use your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. The effects and consequences of failing to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish
The technology of hearing aids is fairly remarkable. 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 the interpretation of sounds).
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you begin turning up the volume on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you aren’t boosting the volume, the missing sensory input contributes to issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll most likely wind 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 Frequent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the grocery store? They’re enjoyable, we think. In a world of technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these simple social connections can quickly become much more difficult. You frequently miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat what they said. Over and over. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. Perhaps that sounds superficial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier to totally isolate yourself socially. And that can cause even bigger issues.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you seclude yourself. Think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or an enjoyable evening dinner with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Balance troubles
- Memory issues
- Declines in productivity or energy
But there’s more. Because there are certain 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 result in an even more rapid cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even more challenging).
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and active when you use hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
Needing a bit more help, as you get older, is not uncommon. Perhaps you ask a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with supplies more often. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be speeding up the loss of independence that often comes with aging.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can rapidly become more difficult to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. You could miss important weather alerts. Perhaps you don’t hear your cat meowing for food at night or your dog barking at somebody ringing your doorbell.
Is There Any Solution?
No matter how technologically advanced hearing aids get, they won’t solve all of life’s issues. But many of the problems connected to failing to use your hearing aid can be solved.
You need to come see us for assistance if you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they are uncomfortable.
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 some time to think about what might be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.