You’re supposed to use your hearing aids every day. But you’re also supposed to rinse out your milk containers before you recycle them. Occasionally, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer now and then. You may even forget to wear it for more than one day.
That isn’t a really smart idea. Because there are several 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 Wear Your 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 consequences.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is fairly impressive. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working smoothly (that’s the region of your brain responsible for the interpretation of sounds).
You could damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you begin cranking up the volume on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, problems with your brain can result from missing sensory input. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use your hearing aids, your hearing will most likely continue to get worse (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids in the near future).
It Will Become More Challenging to Engage Socially
You know when you go to the market and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? Those conversations are nice. A nice little touch of humanity in a technological world.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can suddenly be much more stressful. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat what they said. Over and over. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. That might not sound serious but every time a scenario like this occurs, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And that can cause even bigger problems.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
When you separate 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 cognitive processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Memory issues
- Balance troubles
But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulation. This can lead to an even more rapid cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even more challenging).
Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not uncommon, as you age, to need a little more help. 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 using your hearing aids.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can rapidly become more difficult to answer the phone or talk with your neighbor. You might miss important weather alerts. Perhaps you don’t hear your cat meowing at night for food or your dog barking at somebody ringing your doorbell.
What’s The Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s problems, regardless of how technologically innovative those little devices get. 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 consult us about getting solutions to those specific problems).
But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from wearing your hearing aids, if you’re just leaving them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to think about what could be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.