Hearing aids are meant to be used daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to rinse them out too. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer once in a while. 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 very good idea. Because there are numerous things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And, honestly, most of them are rather negative.
Effects And Repercussions of Going Without Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you fail to wear your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. Here are a few of those effects and consequences.
Your Degree of Hearing Impairment Will Worsen
Hearing aids are amazing gadgets. They improve your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) running efficiently.
You may damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you start cranking the volume up on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, problems with your brain can result from missing 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.
Social Interactions Will Become More Difficult (And Less Frequent)
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? They’re pleasant, we think. A nice little bit of humanity in a technological world.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these simple social interactions can suddenly be a lot more difficult. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat themselves. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. Perhaps that sounds trivial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier to completely isolate yourself socially. And that can cause even more substantial problems.
Hearing Aids And Mental Decline
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or an enjoyable evening dinner with your family. Without that exercise, particular mental processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory issues
- Balance troubles
- Declines in productivity or energy
But that’s not the entire picture. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulation. This can make it harder to get used to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the cognitive decline.
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and active when you use hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a little more help, as you age, is not uncommon. Perhaps you get a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your daughter to swing by with groceries more often. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that often comes with aging.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can quickly become harder to answer the phone or talk with your neighbor. You might miss important weather 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 needs food.
What’s The Solution?
No matter how technologically advanced hearing aids become, they won’t resolve all of life’s problems. But they will solve a lot of the problems associated with not using your hearing aids.
If you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable, that’s one thing (and you should consult us about finding solutions to those particular issues).
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 using them may be.