You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids every day. 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. The same goes for hearing aids. Sometimes we forget to take them with us. Maybe you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without wearing your hearing aids.
That isn’t a really good idea. Because there are numerous things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And, honestly, the majority of them are rather negative.
Consequences of Failing to Use Your Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you don’t wear your hearing aids will affect 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 Degree of Hearing Impairment Will Get Worse
The technology of hearing aids is pretty remarkable. They increase your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) running efficiently.
You could damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you begin turning up the volume on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, problems 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).
Social Engagement Will Become More Difficult (And Less Frequent)
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 bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.
These day-to-day social connections suddenly become very hard when you don’t use your hearing aids. You frequently miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat themselves. Over and over. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. Maybe that sounds trivial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier for you to entirely separate yourself socially. And that can cause even bigger problems.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you isolate yourself. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good chat or an enjoyable evening meal with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Memory problems
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Balance troubles
But that’s not all. Because there are certain parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulation. This can make it harder to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the cognitive decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not unusual, as you get older, to need a bit more help. Maybe you get a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with groceries more often. You are likely to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not using your hearing aids.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can rapidly become more difficult to answer the phone or talk with your neighbor. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your cat meowing at night for food or your dog barking at someone ringing your doorbell.
What’s The Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s problems, regardless of how technologically inventive those little gadgets become. But they will solve a lot of the problems connected with not using your hearing aids.
If you’re having trouble 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 particular issues).
It’s worth taking some time to think about what the consequences will be if you avoid wearing your hearing aids and also what the advantages of wearing them may be.