Hearing aids are meant to be used daily. But before you recycle your milk jugs, you’re supposed to wash them out too. Occasionally, 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. You might even forget to wear it for more than one day.
That’s not great. Because there are a number of things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And, to be honest, the majority of them are rather negative.
Consequences of Forgetting to Use Your Hearing Aids
There will be repercussions of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to use your hearing aid. Here are some of those effects and repercussions.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is pretty impressive. They improve your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you begin turning the volume up on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, 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 likely keep getting worse (which means you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids before long).
Social Engagement Will Become More Challenging (And Less Consistent)
You know those short interactions you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the supermarket? Those conversations are pleasant. In a world of technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these simple social connections can suddenly be much more stressful. You have to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Over and over. And after that, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. Perhaps that sounds superficial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier to completely separate yourself socially. And the outcome can be even more significant.
Hearing Aids And Mental Decline
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you seclude yourself. Think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel after a good chat or a pleasant evening meal with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Balance issues
- Memory problems
- Declines in energy or productivity
But that’s not all. 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 weaken from lack of stimulus. This can lead to an even more accelerated cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even more challenging).
Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Loss of Independence
Needing a bit more help, as you get older, is not uncommon. Maybe you get a family member to go to the store for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be speeding up the loss of independence that frequently accompanies aging.
You can miss phone calls or lose parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t use your hearing aids. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Perhaps you don’t hear your cat meowing at night for food or your dog barking at someone knocking on your door.
Is There Any Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids get, they won’t solve all of life’s problems. But they will solve many problems connected with not wearing your hearing aids.
You need to come see us for help if you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable.
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid using your hearing aids, if you’re just forgetting 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 use your hearing aids.