Hearing aids are supposed to be worn daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to wash them out too. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. It’s the same for hearing aids. Occasionally we forget to take them with us. Maybe you even go a day, or a week, or maybe a few weeks (a month?) without wearing your hearing aids.
That’s not great. Because there are several things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And the majority of them, honestly, aren’t very good.
Effects And Consequences of Going Without Hearing Aids
Much of what happens 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 Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is pretty amazing. 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 region of your brain responsible for the interpretation of sounds).
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you start turning the volume up on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re not increasing the volume, the lack of sensory input contributes to issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll most likely wind up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to use your current pair because your hearing will keep getting worse.
It Will Become More Challenging to Engage Socially
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? They’re pleasant, we think. A nice little touch of humanity in a technology-driven world.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can quickly become much more difficult. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat themselves. Again and again. And after that, the conversation just quickly falls apart. That may not sound significant but every time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And that can lead to even bigger issues.
Hearing Aids And Mental Decline
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you seclude yourself. 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 cognitive processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory problems
- Balance troubles
- Declines in productivity or energy
But there’s more. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulus. This can lead to an even more accelerated mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even more difficult).
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not unusual, as you age, to require a bit more help. Maybe you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with groceries more often. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be speeding up the loss of independence that often comes with aging.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can rapidly become more difficult to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Perhaps you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he’s hungry.
What’s The Solution?
No matter how technologically advanced hearing aids get, they won’t solve all of life’s problems. But many of the problems connected to failing to use your hearing aid can be resolved.
You should come see us for assistance if you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they are uncomfortable.
It’s worth taking some time to consider what the repercussions will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the benefits of using them might be.