You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to rinse them out too. Sometimes, 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 maybe a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That isn’t a really good idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids several things occur and some things already happening get worse. And, to be honest, most of them are kind of bad.
Consequences of Failing to Wear 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. The effects and repercussions of failing to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Degree of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse
Hearing aids are impressive devices. They increase your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) functioning efficiently.
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, crank your TV up to an even louder volume, you may be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you aren’t raising the volume, the missing sensory input results in issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use your hearing aids, your hearing will likely keep getting worse (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids before long).
It Will Become More Challenging to Engage Socially
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? Those conversations are nice. In a world of technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
These day-to-day social interactions suddenly become really hard when you don’t use your hearing aids. You have to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Over and over. And after that, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. That might not sound serious but every time a situation like this happens, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And the result can be even more serious.
Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline
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 chat or a pleasant evening meal with your family. Without that exercise, certain cognitive processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Memory problems
- Balance issues
But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain regions of your brain and nervous system. Without stimulation, certain nerves will begin to weaken, and your auditory complex starts to atrophy. This can make it harder to get used to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the mental decline.
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and engaged when you wear hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
It’s not uncommon, as you age, to require a little more help. Maybe you ask a family member to go to the store for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that frequently accompanies aging.
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. Perhaps you don’t hear your cat meowing at night for food or your dog barking at somebody knocking on your door.
Is There Any Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s issues, no matter how technologically innovative those little devices get. But many of the problems associated with failing to wear your hearing aid can be solved.
You need to come see us for help if you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they are uncomfortable.
It’s worth taking a little time to consider what the repercussions will be if you avoid wearing your hearing aids and also what the advantages of using them might be.