You’re supposed to use your hearing aids daily. But before you recycle your milk jugs, you’re supposed to rinse them out too. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer once in a while. Perhaps you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That’s not great. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids numerous things happen and some things already happening get worse. And the majority of them, honestly, aren’t good.
Consequences of Failing to Use Your Hearing Aids
There will be consequences of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you don’t wear your hearing aid. Here are some of those effects and consequences.
Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish
The technology of hearing aids is rather amazing. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working efficiently (that’s the region of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
You could damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you start cranking up the volume on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re not raising the volume, the missing sensory input contributes to problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t wear your hearing aids, your hearing will likely keep getting worse (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids in the near future).
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? Those conversations are nice. In a world of technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
These normal social interactions suddenly become really difficult when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat what they said. Over and over. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. Maybe that sounds trivial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier for you to entirely separate yourself socially. And the result can be even more significant.
Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline
When you seclude yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. After you have a nice conversation with your family, think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Memory issues
- Balance troubles
- Declines in energy or productivity
But that’s not the entire picture. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulus. This can result in an even more rapid mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even more challenging).
Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Loss of Independence
Needing a bit more help, as you get older, is not uncommon. Perhaps you get a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are likely to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not wearing your hearing aids.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can rapidly become harder to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. You may miss important weather alerts. Maybe you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s somebody at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he needs food.
Is There Any Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s problems, regardless of how technologically innovative those little gadgets get. But they will solve many problems connected with not wearing your hearing aids.
If you’re having trouble with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable, that’s one thing (and you should speak with us about getting solutions to those specific issues).
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid using your hearing aids, if you’re just forgetting them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to think about what may be gained by wearing them… and what could happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.