You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids every day. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk jugs before recycling them. Occasionally, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of their storage container once in a while. 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 smart idea. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids several things happen and some things already happening get worse. And most of them, honestly, aren’t good.
Effects And Consequences of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
There will be repercussions of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to wear your hearing aid. The effects and repercussions of failing to use your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Degree of Hearing Impairment Will Get Worse
Hearing aids are remarkable devices. They increase your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
You may damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you start cranking the volume up on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, problems with your brain can result from the lack of sensory stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use your hearing aids, your hearing will likely keep getting worse (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids before long).
Social Engagement Will Become More Difficult (And Less Frequent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the supermarket? Those conversations are nice. A nice little bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these basic social connections can quickly become much more challenging. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat what they said. Over and over. And after that, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. Perhaps that sounds trivial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier to completely isolate yourself socially. And the outcome can be even more significant.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you seclude yourself. Think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or an enjoyable evening meal with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Balance issues
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Memory problems
But that’s not the entire picture. Because there are certain parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate 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 engaged, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not unusual, as you get older, to need a bit more help. Maybe you get 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 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. You may miss important weather alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your dog barking when there’s somebody at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he needs food.
Is There Any Solution?
Using a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s issues, regardless of how technologically innovative those little devices become. But many of the problems associated with failing to use your hearing aid can be solved.
You need to come see us for assistance if you’re having difficulty 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 using your hearing aids and also what the benefits of wearing them might be.