You’re supposed to use your hearing aids daily. But you’re also supposed to rinse out your milk containers before you recycle them. Occasionally, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. The same goes for hearing aids. Sometimes we forget to take them with us. Maybe you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That’s not good. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids numerous things occur and some things already happening get worse. And, to be honest, the majority of them are rather bad.
Effects And Consequences of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you fail to use your hearing aids will affect both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. Here are a few of those effects and consequences.
Your Level of Hearing Loss Will Worsen
Hearing aids are impressive devices. They improve your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) running efficiently.
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, turn your TV up to an even louder volume, you might 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 stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So you will probably 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.
Social Interactions Will Become More Difficult (And Less Frequent)
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? They’re enjoyable, we think. A nice little touch of humanity in a technology-driven world.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these basic social connections can suddenly be a lot more challenging. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat themselves. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. Maybe that sounds trivial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier for you to totally isolate yourself socially. And that can lead to even bigger issues.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you isolate yourself. Think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or an enjoyable evening meal with your family. Without that exercise, certain mental processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Balance troubles
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Memory issues
But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Without stimulation, certain nerves will begin to weaken, and your auditory complex starts to atrophy. 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 engaged, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not uncommon, as you get older, to require a bit more help. Perhaps you ask a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your daughter to swing by with supplies more often. You are probably speeding up your loss of independence if you’re not wearing your hearing aids.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can quickly become harder to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he needs food.
What’s The Solution?
Using a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s problems, regardless of how technologically innovative those little devices become. But many of the issues associated with failing to use your hearing aid can be resolved.
You need to come see us for help if you’re having difficulty with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable.
It’s worth taking some time to think about what the repercussions will be if you avoid wearing your hearing aids and also what the advantages of using them may be.