Hearing aids are supposed to be used daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to rinse them out too. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of their storage container once in a while. Perhaps you even go a day, or a week, or maybe a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.
That’s not good. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids several things happen and some things already developing get worse. And most of them, to be honest, aren’t good.
Effects And Repercussions of Going Without Hearing Aids
Much of what occurs when you fail to use your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. Here are a few of those effects and repercussions.
Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish
The technology of hearing aids is pretty remarkable. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running smoothly (that’s the part of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).
You may damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you start turning the volume up on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you aren’t raising the volume, the lack of sensory input contributes to problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll probably end up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to use your current pair because your hearing will continue to get worse.
It Will Become More Challenging to Engage Socially
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? They’re pleasant, we think. In a world dominated by technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these basic social interactions can suddenly be a lot more challenging. You regularly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat what they said. Over and over. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. That might not sound serious but each time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And the outcome can be even more significant.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
When you separate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. After you have a nice conversation with your family, think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, certain cognitive processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Memory problems
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Balance issues
But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Without stimulation, certain nerves will begin to weaken, and your auditory complex starts to atrophy. This can cause an even more rapid cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even harder).
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and engaged when you use hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not uncommon, as you get older, to require a little more help. Perhaps you get a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with supplies more often. You are probably to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not wearing your hearing aids.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can rapidly become more difficult to answer the phone or talk 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.
Is There Any Solution?
No matter how technologically sophisticated hearing aids get, they won’t resolve all of life’s issues. But they will solve many problems connected with not using your hearing aids.
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 particular issues).
But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from using your hearing aids, if you’re just forgetting them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to think about what may be gained by using them… and what could happen if you don’t use your hearing aids.