You’re supposed to use your hearing aids daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk containers before recycling them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. It’s the same for hearing aids. Sometimes we forget to bring them with us. Maybe 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 there are numerous things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And, to be honest, most of them are rather negative.
Consequences of Failing to Wear 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 some of those effects and consequences.
Your Level of Hearing Impairment Will Worsen
The technology of hearing aids is fairly amazing. They enhance your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.
If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, crank your TV up to an even louder volume, you could be doing further damage to your hearing. Even if you aren’t boosting the volume, the lack of sensory input results in problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use your hearing aids, your hearing will likely keep getting worse (which means 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 market and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? They’re pleasant, we think. In a world of technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.
When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these simple social interactions can quickly become much more difficult. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat what they said. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. Perhaps that sounds superficial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier for you to entirely seclude yourself socially. And that can cause even more substantial problems.
Hearing Aids And Mental Decline
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. Think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or an enjoyable evening dinner with your family. Without that exercise, particular cognitive processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:
- Balance issues
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Memory 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 make it more difficult to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case speed up mental decline.
Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and engaged when you use hearing aids.
Losing The Ability to be Independent
It’s not unusual, as you age, to require a little more help. Maybe you ask a family member to go to the store for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that often comes with aging.
When you don’t wear 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 cat meowing at night for food or your dog barking at somebody ringing your doorbell.
What’s The Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s problems, regardless of how technologically inventive those little gadgets become. But many of the problems connected to failing to use your hearing aid can be resolved.
If you’re having trouble with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable, 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 forgetting 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.
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