You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids every day. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk jugs before recycling them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. It’s the same for hearing aids. Sometimes we forget to take them with us. Perhaps you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without wearing your hearing aids.
That’s not great. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids numerous things occur and some things already developing get worse. And, to be honest, the majority of them are kind of bad.
Effects And Consequences of Going Without Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you don’t wear your hearing aids will affect both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. The effects and repercussions of failing to use your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Degree of Hearing Impairment Will Get Worse
The technology of hearing aids is pretty impressive. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running smoothly (that’s the region of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, crank your TV up to an even higher volume, you might be doing further 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 probably 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.
Social Engagement Will Become More Challenging (And Less Consistent)
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? Those conversations are nice. A nice little bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.
These day-to-day social connections suddenly become really hard when you don’t use your hearing aids. You need to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Over and over. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. That may not sound serious but each time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And that can result in even bigger problems.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. Think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel after a good chat or an enjoyable evening dinner with your family. Without that exercise, certain mental processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Balance issues
- Memory issues
- Declines in energy or productivity
But there’s more. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that need to hear sounds. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex starts to atrophy. This can make it harder to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the cognitive decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not uncommon, as you age, to require a little more help. Maybe you ask a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with supplies 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. You might miss important weather alerts. Perhaps you don’t 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 sophisticated hearing aids get, they won’t resolve all of life’s problems. But they will solve many issues related to not using your hearing aids.
You should come see us for help if you’re having difficulty with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable.
It’s worth taking a little time to think about what the repercussions will be if you avoid wearing your hearing aids and also what the advantages of using them might be.