Hearing aids are supposed to be worn daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to rinse them out too. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of their storage container once in a while. You may even forget to use it for more than a day.
That isn’t a very good idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids a number of things occur and some things already developing get worse. And most of them, honestly, aren’t very good.
Consequences of Forgetting to Use Your 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 repercussions of neglecting to use your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is pretty impressive. They increase your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) running efficiently.
You may damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you begin turning up the volume on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, problems with your brain can result from missing sensory input. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t wear your hearing aids, your hearing will most likely keep getting worse (which means you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids in the near future).
Social Interactions Will Become More Difficult (And Less Consistent)
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. 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 a lot more stressful. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat what they said. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. That might not sound serious but every time a scenario like this happens, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And the consequences can be even more significant.
Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline
When you seclude yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. After you have a pleasant conversation with your family, think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, particular cognitive processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory problems
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Balance issues
But that’s not the entire picture. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can make it harder to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the mental decline.
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and engaged when you wear hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a little more help, as you get older, is not uncommon. Perhaps you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your daughter to swing by with groceries more often. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that frequently comes with aging.
When you don’t use 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 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?
Using a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s problems, regardless of how technologically innovative those little devices get. But many of the problems associated with failing to wear your hearing aid can be solved.
If you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable, that’s one thing (and you should speak with us about getting solutions to those particular problems).
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid wearing your hearing aids, if you’re just forgetting them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to consider what might be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.