Hearing aids are meant to be worn daily. But you’re also supposed to rinse out your milk containers before recycling them. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of their storage container once in a while. Perhaps you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That’s not good. Because there are several things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And most of them, to be honest, aren’t good.
Consequences of Failing to Wear Your Hearing Aids
There will be consequences of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to use your hearing aid. The effects and consequences of neglecting to use your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
Hearing aids are remarkable gadgets. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working efficiently (that’s the region of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, crank up your TV to an even higher volume, you might be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you aren’t raising the volume, the lack of sensory input contributes to problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use your hearing aids, your hearing will most likely keep getting worse (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids in the near future).
Social Engagement Will Become More Challenging (And Less Frequent)
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. In a world of technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these basic social connections can suddenly be much more challenging. 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. Maybe that sounds superficial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier to completely seclude yourself socially. And the result can be even more significant.
Hearing Aids And Mental 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 an enjoyable evening dinner with your family. Without that exercise, certain mental processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory issues
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Balance issues
But there’s more. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulation. This can result in 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 active when you wear hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
It’s not uncommon, as you age, to need a little more help. Perhaps you ask a family member to go to the store for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are likely to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not wearing your hearing aids.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can quickly become harder to answer the phone or talk with your neighbor. You may miss important weather alerts. Perhaps you don’t hear your cat meowing for food at night or your dog barking at someone ringing your doorbell.
What’s The Solution?
No matter how technologically advanced hearing aids become, they won’t resolve all of life’s issues. But they will solve a lot of the issues related to not using your hearing aids.
You should come see us for assistance if you’re having difficulty 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 forgetting them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to reflect on what could be gained by wearing them… and what could happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.