Hearing aids are meant to be used daily. But before you recycle your milk jugs, you’re supposed to rinse 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 now and then. Maybe you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That isn’t a really good idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids several things happen and some things already developing get worse. And, to be honest, the majority of them are kind of negative.
Effects And Repercussions of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
There will be consequences of varying degrees of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to wear your hearing aid. The effects and repercussions of neglecting to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish
The technology of hearing aids is fairly impressive. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running efficiently (that’s the part of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you begin cranking the volume up on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, issues with your brain can result from the lack of sensory input. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll most likely wind up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to wear your current pair because your hearing will continue to get worse.
It Will Become More Difficult to Engage Socially
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? They’re enjoyable, we think. A nice little touch of humanity in a technological world.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these basic social connections can quickly become a lot more challenging. You frequently miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat themselves. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. That may not sound significant but every time a scenario like this happens, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And the outcome can be even more serious.
Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline
Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you isolate yourself. Think about how invigorated (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:
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Memory issues
- Balance issues
But that’s not all. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Without stimulation, certain nerves will begin to weaken, and your auditory complex starts to atrophy. This can lead to an even more rapid mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even more difficult).
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Loss of Independence
Needing a little more help, as you age, is not abnormal. Perhaps you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with groceries more often. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that often comes with aging.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can quickly become more difficult to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. You could miss important weather alerts. Perhaps you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he’s hungry.
Is There Any Solution?
No matter how technologically advanced hearing aids become, they won’t solve all of life’s issues. But many of the issues linked to failing to wear your hearing aid can be solved.
If you’re having issues 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 wearing 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 might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.