When You Don’t Use Your Hearing Aids

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 jugs, you’re supposed to wash them out too. Sometimes, we don’t do the things 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 possibly a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.

That isn’t a very good idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids numerous things happen and some things already developing get worse. And, honestly, most of them are rather negative.

Effects And Consequences of Not Using Your Hearing Aids

There will be repercussions of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you don’t use your hearing aid. Here are a few of those effects and repercussions.

Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish

Hearing aids are remarkable devices. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running efficiently (that’s the part of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).

If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, turn your TV up to an even higher volume, you might be doing additional damage to your hearing. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, issues with your brain can result from the lack of sensory stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll most likely end up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to wear your current pair because your hearing will keep getting worse.

It Will Become More Challenging to Interact Socially

You know when you go to the market and you get into a short discussion 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 basic social connections can quickly become much more stressful. You regularly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat themselves. Over and over. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly falls apart. Perhaps that sounds trivial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier for you to entirely separate yourself socially. And that can result in even bigger issues.

Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids

When you separate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. Think about how revitalized (or exhausted) you can feel after a good conversation or a pleasant evening meal with your family. Without that exercise, certain cognitive processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:

  • Balance issues
  • Declines in energy or productivity
  • Depression
  • Memory issues

But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain regions of your brain and nervous system. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulation. This can make it harder to get used to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the cognitive decline.

Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and active when you use hearing aids.

Losing The Ability to be Independent

It’s not uncommon, as you age, to need a bit more help. Perhaps you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your daughter to swing by with supplies more often. You are likely to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not wearing your hearing aids.

You can miss phone calls or lose parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t wear your hearing aids. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your cat meowing for food at night or your dog barking at somebody ringing your doorbell.

Is There Any Solution?

Using a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s issues, regardless of how technologically innovative those little gadgets become. But they will solve many problems connected with not using your hearing aids.

You need to come see us for assistance if you’re having difficulty with your hearing aids or if they are uncomfortable.

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 a little time to think about what may be gained by wearing them… and what might happen if you don’t use your hearing aids.



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

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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