You’re supposed to use your hearing aids daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk containers before you recycle them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer once in a while. You might even forget to use it for more than one day.
That isn’t a very smart idea. Because there are several things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And the majority of them, honestly, aren’t good.
Consequences of Neglecting to Use Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you fail to wear your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. Here are a few 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 otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working efficiently (that’s the part of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, crank your TV up to an even higher volume, you could be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, issues with your brain can result from the lack of sensory stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use your hearing aids, your hearing will most likely keep getting worse (which means you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids in the near future).
It Will Become More Difficult to Engage Socially
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? They’re pleasant, we think. A nice little bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.
These everyday social connections suddenly become very difficult when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You need to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Over and over. And after that, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. That may not sound serious but each time a scenario like this takes place, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And the result can be even more significant.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
When you separate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. After you have a nice conversation with your family, think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, certain mental processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Balance troubles
- Memory problems
But that’s not the entire picture. 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 cause an even more accelerated cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even more difficult).
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Loss of Independence
It’s not uncommon, as you age, to need 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 likely speeding up your loss of independence if you’re not using your hearing aids.
You can miss phone calls or fail to hear parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t use your hearing aids. You might miss important weather alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your cat meowing at night for food or your dog barking at someone ringing your doorbell.
Is There Any Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids become, they won’t solve all of life’s issues. But many of the issues linked to failing to wear your hearing aid can be resolved.
You should come see us for help if you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable.
It’s worth taking a little time to consider what the repercussions will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the advantages of wearing them may be.