Hearing aids are supposed to be worn 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. The same goes for hearing aids. Sometimes we forget to take them with us. 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 good idea. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids numerous things occur and some things already developing get worse. And, honestly, the majority of them are rather negative.
Consequences of Forgetting to Wear Your Hearing Aids
There will be repercussions of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you don’t use your hearing aid. The effects and consequences of neglecting to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is rather impressive. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you normally 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, crank up your TV to an even higher volume, you could be doing further damage to your hearing. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, problems with your brain can result from the lack of sensory input. (It actually shrinks.) So you will most likely end up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to use 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 pleasant, we think. In a world of technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
These day-to-day social connections suddenly become really hard when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You have to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Again and again. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly falls apart. That may not sound serious but every time a scenario like this happens, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And the outcome can be even more significant.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good chat or an enjoyable evening meal with your family. Without that exercise, certain mental processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory issues
- Balance troubles
- Declines in productivity or energy
But that’s not all. Because there are certain parts of your brain and nervous system that need to hear sounds. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulus. This can make it more difficult to adjust to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the mental decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a bit more help, as you age, is not abnormal. Perhaps you ask 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 wear your hearing aids, it can rapidly become more difficult to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. You might miss important weather alerts. Perhaps you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s somebody at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he needs food.
Is There Any Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids become, they won’t resolve all of life’s issues. But many of the issues associated with failing to use your hearing aid can be resolved.
If you’re having issues 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 issues).
But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from wearing your hearing aids, if you’re just forgetting them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to think about what could be gained by wearing them… and what could happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.