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. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of their storage container occasionally. 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 there are a number of things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And the majority of them, honestly, aren’t very good.
Effects And Repercussions of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you don’t use your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. The effects and repercussions of neglecting to use your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
Hearing aids are impressive gadgets. They enhance your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
You might 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 raising the volume, the lack of sensory input results in problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t wear your hearing aids, your hearing will likely keep getting worse (which means you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids before long).
Social Interactions Will Become More Challenging (And Less Frequent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the grocery store? Those conversations are pleasant. In a world dominated by technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these simple social interactions can quickly become much more difficult. You need to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Over and over. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. Maybe that sounds superficial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier for you to entirely separate yourself socially. And that can lead to even bigger problems.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you seclude yourself. After you have a pleasant conversation with your family, think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel. 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 there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain regions of your brain and nervous system. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex starts to atrophy. This can make it harder to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the mental decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Loss of Independence
Needing a bit 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 likely to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not using your hearing aids.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can rapidly become more difficult to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. 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.
What’s The Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids get, they won’t resolve all of life’s issues. But many of the problems linked to failing to wear your hearing aid can be resolved.
If you’re having trouble with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable, that’s one thing (and you should consult us about finding solutions to those particular problems).
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 may be gained by using them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.