Hearing aids are supposed to be worn daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk jugs before you recycle them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer once in a while. You might even forget to use it for more than a day.
That isn’t a very smart idea. Because there are a number of things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And, honestly, most of them are kind of negative.
Consequences of Neglecting to Use Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you don’t use your hearing aids will affect both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. The effects and repercussions of neglecting to use your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Degree of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse
Hearing aids are remarkable devices. They enhance your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) running efficiently.
You may damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you begin cranking the volume up on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, problems with your brain can result from missing sensory stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So you will 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.
Social Engagement Will Become More Stressful (And Less Consistent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the supermarket? They’re enjoyable, we think. In a world dominated by technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.
These day-to-day social interactions suddenly become very hard when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people 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 outcome can be even more serious.
Hearing Aids And Mental Decline
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you isolate yourself. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good chat or a pleasant evening dinner with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Memory issues
- Balance troubles
But that’s not all. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex starts to atrophy. This can result in an even more rapid mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even more difficult).
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 get older, to need a bit more help. Perhaps you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your daughter to swing by with supplies more often. You are likely speeding up your loss of independence if you’re not wearing your hearing aids.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can quickly become harder to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your cat meowing for food at night or your dog barking at somebody ringing your doorbell.
What’s The Solution?
Using a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s problems, no matter how technologically innovative those little gadgets become. But many of the issues associated with failing to use your hearing aid can be solved.
If you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable, that’s one thing (and you should speak with us about getting solutions to those particular problems).
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 some time to think about what might be gained by wearing them… and what could happen if you don’t use your hearing aids.