You’re supposed to use your hearing aids daily. But you’re also supposed to rinse out your milk containers before recycling them. Occasionally, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer occasionally. You may even forget to wear it for more than one day.
That isn’t a really good idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids numerous things occur and some things already developing get worse. And, honestly, the majority of them are kind of bad.
Consequences of Neglecting to Wear Your Hearing Aids
There will be consequences of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you fail to wear your hearing aid. Here are a few of those effects and repercussions.
Your Level of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse
Hearing aids are impressive gadgets. 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, turn your TV up to an even louder volume, you could be doing further damage to your hearing. Even if you’re not raising the volume, the missing sensory input leads to problems with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So you will probably wind up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to use your current pair because your hearing will keep getting worse.
Social Engagement Will Become More Challenging (And Less Frequent)
You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the grocery store? They’re enjoyable, we think. In a world of technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.
These normal social connections suddenly become very hard when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You have to ask the cashier 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 withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier for you to completely separate yourself socially. And that can lead to even more substantial problems.
Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids
When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. After you have a pleasant 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 issues
- Declines in productivity or energy
- Memory problems
But that’s not all. 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 begins to atrophy. This can make it more difficult to get used to your new hearing aids and in the worst case speed up cognitive 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 bit more help. Perhaps you ask a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your son to swing by with supplies more often. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be speeding up the loss of independence that frequently comes with 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. You could miss important weather alerts. Perhaps you don’t hear your cat meowing at night for food or your dog barking at someone knocking on your door.
What’s The Solution?
Wearing a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s issues, no matter how technologically inventive those little gadgets get. But they will solve many issues associated with not using your hearing aids.
If you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable, that’s one thing (and you should talk to us about finding solutions to those specific problems).
But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid wearing your hearing aids, if you’re just forgetting them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking some time to reflect on what might be gained by using them… and what could happen if you don’t use your hearing aids.