You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids every day. But before you recycle your milk jugs, you’re supposed to wash them out too. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of their storage container occasionally. 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 smart idea. Because there are a number of things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And, honestly, the majority of them are kind of bad.
Consequences of Forgetting to Use Your Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you fail to use your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. Here are a few of those effects and consequences.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is rather remarkable. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working smoothly (that’s the part of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, crank your TV up to an even louder volume, you might be doing further damage to your hearing. Even if you’re not raising the volume, the missing sensory input leads to issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t wear your hearing aids, your hearing will likely continue to get worse (which means you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids before long).
It Will Become More Difficult to Engage Socially
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? Those conversations are nice. A nice little touch of humanity in a technology-driven world.
These day-to-day social interactions suddenly become very difficult when you don’t use your hearing aids. You have to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. That may not sound serious but every time a scenario like this occurs, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And the consequences can be even more significant.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you isolate yourself. Think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or a pleasant evening dinner with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Memory issues
- 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 stimulus. This can make it harder to adjust to your new hearing aids and in the worst case speed up mental decline.
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and active when you use hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
It’s not unusual, as you age, to require a bit more help. Maybe you get a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your daughter to swing by with supplies more often. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aid, you could be speeding up the loss of independence that often comes with aging.
You can miss phone calls or fail to hear parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t use your hearing aids. You might miss important weather alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your dog barking when there’s somebody at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he needs food.
What’s The Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids get, they won’t solve all of life’s problems. But they will solve a lot of the problems related to not using your hearing aids.
You should 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 benefits of wearing them may be.