You’re supposed to use your hearing aids every day. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk jugs before recycling them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of their storage container once in a while. You may even forget to wear it for more than a day.
That’s not great. Because there are a number of things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And, honestly, most of them are rather negative.
Consequences of Failing 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 don’t wear your hearing aid. Here are some of those effects and repercussions.
Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish
Hearing aids are amazing gadgets. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running efficiently (that’s the region of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
You may damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you begin cranking up the volume on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you aren’t increasing the volume, the missing sensory input leads to issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll most likely wind 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 Engagement Will Become More Stressful (And Less Frequent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the supermarket? Those conversations are pleasant. A nice little bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can quickly become a lot more difficult. You frequently miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat themselves. Over and over. And after that, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. That may not sound significant but each time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And that can lead to even more substantial problems.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. After you have a pleasant conversation with your family, think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, particular mental processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Balance troubles
- Memory issues
But there’s more. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that need to hear sounds. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulation. This can make it more difficult to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the mental 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 uncommon. Maybe you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with groceries more often. You are probably to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not using your hearing aids.
You can miss phone calls or fail to hear parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t wear your hearing aids. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Perhaps you don’t hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he needs food.
Is There Any Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids become, they won’t solve all of life’s problems. But many of the issues linked to 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).
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 may be.