Hearing aids are meant to be used daily. But you’re also supposed to rinse out your milk containers before recycling them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. The same goes for hearing aids. Occasionally we forget to take them with us. Perhaps 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 when you don’t use your hearing aids numerous things happen and some things already happening get worse. And most of them, honestly, aren’t good.
Effects And Repercussions of Not Using 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. Here are some of those effects and repercussions.
Your Level of Hearing Impairment Will Get Worse
The technology of hearing aids is fairly remarkable. They improve your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you begin cranking the volume up on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, problems with your brain can result from the lack of sensory stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll most likely end up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to wear your current pair because your hearing will keep getting worse.
It Will Become More Challenging to Interact Socially
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? They’re enjoyable, we think. In a world of technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
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 what they said. Over and over. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. That may not sound significant but each time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And that can result in even more substantial issues.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you seclude yourself. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or a pleasant evening dinner with your family. Without that exercise, particular cognitive processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Memory issues
- Balance issues
But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain regions of your nervous system and brain. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulus. This can lead to an even more accelerated cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even harder).
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Loss of Independence
Needing a bit more help, as you get older, is not uncommon. Perhaps you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with groceries more often. You are probably to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not using your hearing aids.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can quickly become more difficult to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Perhaps you don’t hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he’s hungry.
Is There Any Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s problems, regardless of how technologically inventive those little gadgets 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 uncomfortable, that’s one thing (and you should speak with us about finding solutions to those particular problems).
It’s worth taking some time to consider what the repercussions will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the benefits of using them may be.