Hearing aids are supposed to be used daily. But before you recycle your milk jugs, you’re supposed to wash 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 occasionally. You may even forget to use it for more than one day.
That’s not great. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids several things occur and some things already developing get worse. And most of them, to be honest, aren’t good.
Consequences of Failing 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 wear your hearing aid. The effects and consequences of neglecting to use your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Degree of Hearing Impairment Will Worsen
Hearing aids are remarkable gadgets. They improve your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) functioning efficiently.
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, crank up your TV to an even louder 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 the lack of sensory stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use 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).
It Will Become More Difficult to Engage Socially
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. In a world dominated by technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
These normal social connections suddenly become very difficult when you don’t use your hearing aids. You have to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Over and over. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. That might not sound serious but each time a scenario like this takes place, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And that can result in even more substantial problems.
Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline
When you seclude yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or an enjoyable evening meal with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Memory problems
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Balance issues
But that’s not the entire picture. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain regions of your nervous system and brain. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulation. This can result in an even more accelerated cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even more difficult).
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and engaged when you use hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
It’s not uncommon, as you get older, to need a bit more help. Perhaps you get a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are probably to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not wearing your hearing aids.
You can miss phone calls or fail to hear parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t wear your hearing aids. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Perhaps you fail to 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?
Wearing a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s issues, no matter how technologically innovative those little gadgets get. But they will solve many problems related to not using your hearing aids.
If you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable, that’s one thing (and you should consult us about finding solutions to those specific problems).
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid using your hearing aids, if you’re just leaving them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to consider what could be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.