You’re supposed to use your hearing aids every day. But you’re also supposed to rinse 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 occasionally. Perhaps you even go a day, or a week, or maybe a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That isn’t a really smart idea. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids several things happen and some things already developing get worse. And, to be honest, the majority of them are kind of negative.
Consequences of Forgetting to Use 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 wear your hearing aid. Here are a few of those effects and consequences.
Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing
The technology of hearing aids is fairly remarkable. They enhance your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) functioning efficiently.
If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, crank your TV up to an even louder volume, you may be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, issues 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 keep getting worse (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids in the near future).
Social Interactions Will Become More Challenging (And Less Consistent)
You know those short interactions you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the grocery store? They’re pleasant, we think. 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 a lot more difficult. You have to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Over and over. And after that, the conversation just quickly falls apart. That may not sound serious but every time a scenario like this takes place, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And the consequences can be even more significant.
Hearing Aids And Mental Decline
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or an enjoyable evening meal with your family. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Balance issues
- Memory problems
- Declines in productivity or energy
But that’s not the entire picture. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain parts of your nervous system and brain. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can make it more difficult to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the cognitive decline.
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and engaged when you use hearing aids.
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 to the store for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are likely 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 harder to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. You could miss important weather alerts. Maybe you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s somebody at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he’s hungry.
Is There Any Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s issues, no matter how technologically inventive those little devices get. But many of the issues linked to failing to wear your hearing aid can be solved.
If you’re having trouble with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable, that’s one thing (and you should consult us about finding solutions to those specific problems).
It’s worth taking some time to think about what the repercussions will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the benefits of wearing them might be.