You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids every day. 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. It’s the same for hearing aids. Sometimes we forget to take them with us. Maybe you even go a day, or a week, or maybe a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That isn’t a very smart idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids a number of things occur and some things already happening get worse. And, to be honest, most of them are rather bad.
Effects And Repercussions of Going Without Hearing Aids
There will be consequences of varying degrees of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you don’t use your hearing aid. The effects and consequences of failing to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is fairly impressive. They enhance your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) running efficiently.
If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, crank up your TV to an even higher volume, you may be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, problems with your brain can result from missing sensory input. (It actually shrinks.) So you will most likely end 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 Difficult to Interact Socially
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the grocery store? Those conversations are nice. In a world dominated by technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
These everyday social connections suddenly become really difficult when you don’t use your hearing aids. You have to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Again and again. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly falls apart. That may not sound serious but every time a scenario like this occurs, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And the outcome can be even more significant.
Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. Think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or an enjoyable evening dinner with your family. Without that exercise, particular mental processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory problems
- Balance troubles
- Declines in energy or productivity
But that’s not all. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that need to hear sounds. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulation. This can make it harder to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the mental decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a bit more help, as you get older, is not uncommon. Perhaps you ask a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with groceries more often. You are likely speeding up 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. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Perhaps you don’t hear your cat meowing for food at night or your dog barking at somebody knocking on your door.
What’s The Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s problems, no matter how technologically innovative those little devices become. But they will solve a lot of the issues related to not wearing your hearing aids.
You should come see us for assistance if you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they are not comfortable.
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 reflect on what might be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.