You’re supposed to use your hearing aids daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, 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 once in a while. You might even forget to wear it for more than a day.
That isn’t a really smart idea. Because there are numerous things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And, honestly, the majority of them are kind of negative.
Consequences of Forgetting to Use Your Hearing Aids
Much of what happens when you don’t wear your hearing aids will affect both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. The effects and consequences of neglecting to wear your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish
Hearing aids are remarkable devices. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working smoothly (that’s the part of your brain responsible for the interpretation of sounds).
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you begin cranking the volume up on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re not raising the volume, the missing sensory input contributes to problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t wear your hearing aids, your hearing will likely keep getting worse (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids in the near future).
It Will Become More Challenging to Interact Socially
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? Those conversations are nice. In a world dominated by technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
These normal social interactions suddenly become really hard when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You have to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Over and over. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. Maybe that sounds superficial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier to completely seclude yourself socially. And that can lead to even more substantial issues.
Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline
When you separate yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. Think about how revitalized (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:
- Balance troubles
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Memory problems
But that’s not all. Because there are certain parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Without stimulation, certain nerves will begin to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can make it harder to get used to your new hearing aids and in the worst case speed up cognitive decline.
Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Loss of Independence
Needing a little more help, as you age, is not abnormal. Maybe you ask a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aid, you could be speeding up the loss of independence that frequently comes with aging.
You can miss phone calls or fail to hear parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t use 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 in the morning when he needs food.
What’s The Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids become, they won’t resolve all of life’s problems. But they will solve many issues related to not using your hearing aids.
If you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable, that’s one thing (and you should speak with us about finding solutions to those particular issues).
It’s worth taking some time to think about what the consequences will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the advantages of using them might be.