You’re supposed to use your hearing aids daily. But before you recycle your milk jugs, you’re supposed to rinse them out too. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of their storage container now and then. 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 happen and some things already developing get worse. And, to be honest, most of them are rather bad.
Effects And Consequences of Going Without Hearing Aids
There will be repercussions of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to use your hearing aid. Here are some of those effects and consequences.
Your Level of Hearing Loss Will Worsen
Hearing aids are impressive gadgets. They improve your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) functioning efficiently.
You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you begin turning the volume up on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, issues with your brain can result from missing sensory input. (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.
It Will Become More Challenging to Engage Socially
You know those short interactions 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 use your hearing aids, these simple social connections can quickly become a lot more difficult. You have to ask the cashier to repeat himself. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. That may not sound serious but each time a scenario like this occurs, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And that can cause even bigger issues.
Mental Decline And Hearing Aids
Your brain doesn’t get close to as much exercise when you seclude yourself. After you have a pleasant conversation with your family, think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Declines in energy or productivity
- Memory issues
- Balance troubles
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 weaken from lack of stimulus. This can cause an even more rapid mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even more challenging).
Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, stimulated, and happy (more or less).
Loss of Independence
It’s not uncommon, as you age, to require a little more help. Perhaps you get a family member to go to the store for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are probably to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not using your hearing aids.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can rapidly become more difficult to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. You could miss important weather alerts. Perhaps you don’t hear your cat meowing at night for food or your dog barking at somebody knocking on your door.
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 they will solve a lot of the issues connected with not using your hearing aids.
You need to come see us for help if you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they are uncomfortable.
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid using 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 using them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.