You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to rinse them out too. Occasionally, we don’t do the things 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 smart idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids numerous things happen and some things already developing get worse. And, to be honest, the majority of them are kind of bad.
Consequences of Forgetting to Wear Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you don’t use your hearing aids will affect both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. The effects and repercussions of neglecting to use your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
Hearing aids are amazing gadgets. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working smoothly (that’s the part of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, turn your TV up to an even higher volume, you may be doing further damage to your hearing. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, issues with your brain can result from missing sensory stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll probably 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.
It Will Become More Challenging to Interact Socially
You know those short interactions you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the grocery store? Those conversations are pleasant. In a world of technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.
These normal social interactions suddenly become very difficult when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You have to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Over and over. And after that, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. Maybe that sounds superficial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier to entirely separate yourself socially. And the consequences can be even more significant.
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. Without that exercise, certain cognitive processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Balance issues
- Memory problems
- Declines in energy or productivity
But that’s not the entire picture. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain parts of your nervous system and brain. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulus. This can make it harder to get used to your new hearing aids and in the worst case speed up cognitive decline.
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and active when you use hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a bit more help, as you age, is not uncommon. Maybe you get a family member to go to the store for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are likely to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not using your hearing aids.
You can miss phone calls or lose parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t use your hearing aids. You might miss important weather alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your cat meowing for food at night or your dog barking at somebody ringing your doorbell.
What’s The Solution?
Using a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s issues, no matter how technologically inventive those little gadgets become. But they will solve many issues related to not wearing your hearing aids.
If you’re having trouble with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable, that’s one thing (and you should consult us about getting solutions to those specific issues).
But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from wearing your hearing aids, if you’re just leaving them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking some time to consider what could be gained by wearing them… and what could happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.