You’re supposed to wear your hearing aids 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 the nightstand drawer occasionally. You may even forget to wear it for more than one day.
That’s not great. Because there are numerous things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And, honestly, the majority of them are rather negative.
Effects And Repercussions of Going Without 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. The effects and repercussions of failing to use your hearing aids could include the following.
Your Level of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse
Hearing aids are remarkable devices. They enhance your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, crank your TV up to an even higher volume, you might be doing further damage to your hearing. Even if you’re not raising the volume, the missing sensory input contributes to problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use your hearing aids, your hearing will most likely continue to get worse (which means you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids before long).
Social Engagement Will Become More Challenging (And Less Consistent)
You know when you go to the store and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? They’re enjoyable, we think. A nice little bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, these basic social connections can quickly become a lot more stressful. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat themselves. Again and again. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. That may not sound significant but every time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And that can result in even bigger problems.
Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline
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. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:
- Memory issues
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Balance issues
But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain regions of your brain and nervous system. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulus. This can result in an even more rapid mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even more difficult).
Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and active when you wear hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
Needing a bit more help, as you age, is not abnormal. Maybe you ask 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 wearing your hearing aids.
When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can quickly become harder to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. You could miss important weather alerts. Maybe 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.
What’s The Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s issues, no matter how technologically inventive those little gadgets become. But they will solve many issues associated with not using your hearing aids.
If you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable, that’s one thing (and you should talk to 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 some time to reflect on what could be gained by using them… and what might happen if you don’t wear your hearing aids.