You’re supposed to use your hearing aids daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to rinse them out too. Occasionally, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer once in a while. You may even forget to wear it for more than one day.
That isn’t a really good idea. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids several things happen and some things already developing get worse. And, to be honest, the majority of them are rather negative.
Effects And Repercussions of Not Using Your Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you fail to use your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. Here are some of those effects and consequences.
Your Degree of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse
The technology of hearing aids is pretty remarkable. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working efficiently (that’s the region of your brain responsible for the interpretation of sounds).
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, turn up your TV to an even higher volume, you might be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you’re not raising the volume, the lack of sensory input results in issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use your hearing aids, your hearing will likely keep getting worse (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids before long).
Social Interactions Will Become More Difficult (And Less Frequent)
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. A nice little bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these simple social connections can quickly become much more challenging. You have to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. That may not sound serious but every time a situation like this takes place, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And that can result in even more substantial issues.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you isolate yourself. After you have a nice conversation with your family, think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, certain mental processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Memory issues
- Balance troubles
But that’s not the entire picture. Because there are certain parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulus. This can make it more difficult to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the cognitive decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not unusual, as you age, to require a bit more help. Maybe you get a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are probably speeding up your loss of independence if you’re not wearing your hearing aids.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can quickly become more difficult to answer the phone or talk with your neighbor. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Perhaps 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.
Is There Any Solution?
Using a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s problems, regardless of how technologically innovative those little devices get. But many of the issues linked to failing to use your hearing aid can be resolved.
If you’re having trouble with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable, that’s one thing (and you should consult us about getting solutions to those specific problems).
It’s worth taking a little time to consider what the consequences will be if you avoid wearing your hearing aids and also what the benefits of using them may be.