Hearing aids are meant 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. It’s the same for hearing aids. Sometimes we forget to take them with us. You might even forget to use it for more than one day.
That’s not great. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids numerous things happen and some things already happening get worse. And most of them, honestly, aren’t good.
Consequences of Forgetting to Use Your Hearing Aids
There will be repercussions 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 wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Degree of Hearing Loss Will Worsen
The technology of hearing aids is fairly remarkable. They enhance your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, crank your TV up to an even louder volume, you may be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you’re not raising the volume, the missing sensory input contributes to issues with your brain. (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.
Social Engagement Will Become More Difficult (And Less Frequent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the supermarket? Those conversations are pleasant. In a world dominated by technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.
These everyday social connections suddenly become really hard when you don’t use your hearing aids. You need to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Again and again. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. Perhaps that sounds superficial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier for you to totally seclude yourself socially. And that can lead to even bigger issues.
Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline
When you seclude yourself socially, your brain gets a lot 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 begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Balance issues
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Memory problems
But there’s more. Because there are certain parts of your brain and nervous system that need to hear sounds. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulus. This can make it more difficult to adjust 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).
Loss of Independence
Needing a little more help, as you get older, is not abnormal. Perhaps you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with supplies more often. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aid, you could be speeding up the loss of independence that often accompanies 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. You could miss important weather alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your cat meowing at night for food or your dog barking at someone ringing your doorbell.
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 problems linked to failing to wear your hearing aid can be solved.
If you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable, that’s one thing (and you should speak with us about finding solutions to those specific problems).
It’s worth taking some time to consider what the repercussions will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the advantages of using them might be.