Hearing aids are supposed to be used daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to rinse them out too. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of their storage container once in a while. Perhaps you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That isn’t a really smart idea. Because there are a number of things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And most of them, honestly, aren’t good.
Effects And Repercussions of Going Without Hearing Aids
There will be repercussions of varying degrees of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to use your hearing aid. Here are a few of those effects and repercussions.
Your Level of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse
Hearing aids are remarkable devices. They enhance your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) functioning efficiently.
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, turn your TV up to an even higher volume, you could be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, issues with your brain can result from the lack of 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 keep getting worse.
Social Interactions Will Become More Challenging (And Less Frequent)
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? They’re enjoyable, we think. A nice little bit of humanity in a technological world.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these simple social interactions can suddenly be much more difficult. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat themselves. Again and again. And after that, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. Maybe that sounds trivial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier for you to totally seclude yourself socially. And the consequences can be even more significant.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you isolate yourself. Think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel after a good chat or an enjoyable evening dinner with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Memory issues
- Balance troubles
- Declines in productivity or energy
But there’s more. Because there are certain parts of your brain and nervous system that need to hear sounds. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can make it harder to adjust to your new hearing aids and in the worst case speed up mental decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Loss of Independence
Needing a little more help, as you get older, is not uncommon. Maybe you ask a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are likely to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not using your hearing aids.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can rapidly 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 at night for food or your dog barking at somebody knocking on your door.
Is There Any Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids get, they won’t solve all of life’s issues. But they will solve many issues associated with not wearing your hearing aids.
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 finding solutions to those particular issues).
It’s worth taking a little time to consider what the repercussions will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the advantages of wearing them might be.