You’re supposed to use your hearing aids every day. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to wash them out too. Occasionally, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of their storage container now and then. You may even forget to use it for more than one day.
That’s not great. Because there are a number of things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And, to be honest, the majority of them are rather bad.
Consequences of Failing to Use Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you don’t wear your hearing aids will affect both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. Here are a few of those effects and repercussions.
Your Degree of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse
The technology of hearing aids is rather remarkable. They improve your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, turn your TV up to an even higher volume, you could be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, issues with your brain can result from missing sensory stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll most likely wind up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to use your current pair because your hearing will keep getting worse.
Social Engagement Will Become More Challenging (And Less Consistent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the supermarket? They’re pleasant, we think. In a world of technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.
These everyday social connections suddenly become really hard when you don’t wear 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 may not sound significant but each time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And that can lead to even bigger issues.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you isolate yourself. 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 there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain regions of your nervous system and brain. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulation. This can cause an even more rapid mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even harder).
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and active when you use hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
Needing a little more help, as you get older, is not abnormal. Perhaps you ask a family member to go to the store for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are probably to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not wearing your hearing aids.
You can miss phone calls or fail to hear 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 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, regardless of how technologically innovative those little devices become. But many of the issues linked to failing to wear your hearing aid can be solved.
If you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable, that’s one thing (and you should consult us about getting solutions to those particular issues).
It’s worth taking some time to think about what the consequences will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the advantages of wearing them might be.