Hearing aids are meant to be used daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to wash them out too. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer now and then. You might even forget to wear it for more than one day.
That isn’t a very good idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids several things occur and some things already developing get worse. And most of them, to be honest, aren’t good.
Consequences of Failing to Wear Your Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you don’t wear your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. The effects and repercussions of neglecting to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Level of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse
The technology of hearing aids is fairly remarkable. They increase your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) functioning efficiently.
If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, turn up your TV to an even louder volume, you could be doing further damage to your hearing. 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 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 keep getting worse.
Social Interactions Will Become More Stressful (And Less Frequent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the supermarket? Those conversations are nice. A nice little touch of humanity in a technological world.
These normal social interactions suddenly become very difficult when you don’t use 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. That may not sound serious but each time a scenario like this takes place, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And that can cause even more substantial issues.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you isolate yourself. After you have a pleasant conversation with your family, think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Balance issues
- Memory issues
But there’s more. 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 stimulation. This can cause an even more accelerated cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even harder).
Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Loss of Independence
It’s not unusual, as you age, to need a little more help. Perhaps you get a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with supplies more often. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aid, you could be speeding up the loss of independence that often accompanies aging.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can quickly become harder to answer the phone or talk with your neighbor. You might miss important weather alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your cat meowing at night for food or your dog barking at someone ringing your doorbell.
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 become. But they will solve a lot of the issues related to not using your hearing aids.
If you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable, that’s one thing (and you should talk to us about getting solutions to those particular issues).
It’s worth taking a little time to think about what the repercussions will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the advantages of wearing them may be.