You’re supposed to use your hearing aids every day. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to rinse them out too. We don’t always do what 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 using your hearing aids.
That isn’t a very good idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids a number of things happen and some things already happening get worse. And, honestly, the majority of them are kind of negative.
Consequences of Forgetting to Use Your Hearing Aids
There will be consequences of varying degrees of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to use your hearing aid. Here are some of those effects and repercussions.
Your Degree of Hearing Impairment Will Worsen
The technology of hearing aids is rather amazing. They increase your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
You could damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you start cranking up the volume on your devices even higher 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 wear 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 Interactions Will Become More Stressful (And Less Frequent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the grocery store? Those conversations are pleasant. A nice little bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can suddenly be a lot more difficult. You regularly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat themselves. Again and again. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly falls apart. Maybe that sounds superficial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier to entirely isolate yourself socially. And the consequences can be even more serious.
Hearing Aids And Mental Decline
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. After you have a pleasant conversation with your family, think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, particular mental processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory problems
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Balance issues
But that’s not all. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Without stimulation, certain nerves will begin to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can lead to an even more accelerated mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even more difficult).
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and engaged when you use hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
It’s not unusual, as you age, to require a little more help. Maybe 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 lose parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t wear your hearing aids. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he needs food.
Is There Any Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s issues, no matter how technologically inventive those little gadgets get. But they will solve many problems related to not using your hearing aids.
If you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable, that’s one thing (and you should speak with us about getting solutions to those particular problems).
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid wearing your hearing aids, if you’re just leaving them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking some time to think about what could be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t use your hearing aids.