Man talking to grocery cashier and laughing because he hears her.

Hearing aids are meant to be used daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to wash them out too. Occasionally, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you skip taking your hearing aids out of their storage container once in a while. You might even forget to wear it for more than a day.

That’s not great. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids numerous things occur and some things already developing get worse. And, to be honest, the majority of them are rather bad.

Consequences of Failing to Use Your Hearing Aids

Much of what happens when you don’t wear your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. The effects and consequences of failing to wear your hearing aids could include the following.

Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing

Hearing aids are impressive devices. 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 region of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).

If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, turn up your TV to an even louder volume, you might be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you’re not increasing the volume, the missing sensory input results in problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t wear your hearing aids, your hearing will likely continue to get worse (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids in the near future).

It Will Become More Challenging to Interact Socially

You know when you go to the store and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. A nice little touch of humanity in a technology-driven world.

These day-to-day social interactions suddenly become very difficult when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You have to ask the cashier to repeat what they said. Over and over. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. Maybe that sounds superficial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier to totally seclude yourself socially. And the consequences can be even more serious.

Hearing Aids And Mental Decline

Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you isolate yourself. After you have a nice conversation with your family, think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel. Certain cognitive functions can begin to decline or decline faster without this exercise. This could mean:

  • Balance troubles
  • Declines in energy or productivity
  • Memory problems
  • Depression

But that’s not all. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain parts of your nervous system and brain. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulation. This can cause an even more rapid mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even more challenging).

Your brain remains happy, stimulated, and active when you wear hearing aids.

Loss of Independence

Needing a bit more help, as you age, is not uncommon. Perhaps you ask a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with groceries more often. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that frequently accompanies aging.

When you don’t use your hearing aids, it can quickly become more difficult to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. 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 at 6 am when he needs food.

What’s The Solution?

Wearing a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s issues, regardless of how technologically inventive those little gadgets become. But they will solve many issues 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 specific problems).

It’s worth taking a little time to think about what the consequences will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the advantages of wearing them might be.



References

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/otolaryngology/specialty_areas/hearing/faq.html
https://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20140128/hearing-loss-tied-to-faster-brain-shrinkage-with-age
https://www.apa.org/monitor/2019/05/ce-corner-isolation

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