Hearing aids are meant to be used daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to wash them out too. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer now and then. Perhaps you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That’s not great. Because there are numerous things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And, to be honest, the majority of them are kind of negative.
Effects And Consequences of Going Without 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 levels of severity and intensity. Here are some of those effects and repercussions.
Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish
The technology of hearing aids is rather impressive. They increase your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) running efficiently.
You could damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you start turning up the volume on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you aren’t raising the volume, the missing sensory input leads to issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll probably end up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to wear your current pair because your hearing will continue to get worse.
It Will Become More Difficult to Engage Socially
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. In a world of technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can quickly become a lot more difficult. You have to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. That may not sound significant but every time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And the result can be even more serious.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you isolate yourself. After you have a pleasant conversation with your family, think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Balance issues
- Memory problems
But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain regions of your nervous system and brain. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulation. This can make it more difficult to get used to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the cognitive decline.
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and engaged when you use hearing aids.
Loss of Independence
It’s not uncommon, as you age, to require a bit more help. Maybe you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with groceries more often. You are probably speeding up your loss of independence if you’re not using your hearing aids.
You can miss phone calls or lose parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You may miss important weather 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 needs food.
Is There Any Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s issues, regardless of how technologically inventive those little gadgets become. But they will solve many issues associated with not wearing your hearing aids.
You should come see us for assistance if you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable.
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid wearing your hearing aids, if you’re just leaving them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to reflect on what might be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.