Hearing aids are meant to be worn daily. But you’re also supposed to rinse out your milk jugs before recycling them. Occasionally, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. It’s the same for hearing aids. Occasionally we forget to bring them with us. You may even forget to use it for more than a day.
That’s not good. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids a number of things occur and some things already developing get worse. And, to be honest, most of them are kind of bad.
Effects And Repercussions of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you don’t wear your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. Here are some of those effects and repercussions.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is fairly impressive. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running smoothly (that’s the region of your brain responsible for the interpretation of sounds).
You could damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you start turning up the volume on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re not increasing the volume, the missing sensory input contributes to issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So you will most likely wind up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to wear your current pair because your hearing will continue to get worse.
It Will Become More Challenging to Engage Socially
You know those short interactions you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the grocery store? They’re enjoyable, we think. A nice little touch of humanity in a technological world.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can suddenly be much more challenging. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat themselves. Over and over. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly falls apart. That may not sound serious but every time a scenario like this happens, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And that can cause even bigger issues.
Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline
When you seclude 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, certain mental processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory problems
- Balance issues
- Declines in productivity or energy
But there’s more. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that need to hear sounds. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can make it harder to adjust to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the cognitive decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not unusual, as you get older, to require a bit more help. Perhaps you get a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with supplies more often. You are probably 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 use 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 someone ringing your doorbell.
Is There Any Solution?
Using a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s issues, regardless of how technologically inventive those little devices get. But many of the issues associated with failing to use your hearing aid can be resolved.
If you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable, that’s one thing (and you should talk to us about getting solutions to those particular problems).
It’s worth taking some time to think about what the repercussions will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the benefits of wearing them may be.