Choosing Not To Wear Your Hearing Aids Can Lead to Problems

HEARING TIPS

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

Hearing aids are meant to be used daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk jugs before you recycle them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer now and then. You may even forget to wear it for more than a day.

That’s not good. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids a number of things happen and some things already happening get worse. And most of them, honestly, aren’t good.

Consequences of Failing to Wear Your Hearing Aids

There will be consequences 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 neglecting to wear your hearing aids could include the following.

Your Degree of Hearing Impairment Will Worsen

The technology of hearing aids is fairly impressive. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex working efficiently (that’s the part of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).

You could damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you begin cranking the volume up on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, problems with your brain can result from missing sensory input. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll most likely 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 Interactions Will Become More Challenging (And Less Frequent)

You know those short conversations you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the grocery store? Those conversations are nice. A nice little bit of humanity in a technology-driven world.

When you don’t use your hearing aids, these basic social connections can suddenly be 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 becomes strained. Maybe that sounds trivial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier to totally seclude yourself socially. And the outcome can be even more serious.

Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids

Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you seclude yourself. After you have a pleasant 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:

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

But that’s not all. Because hearing sound is vitally essential to certain regions of your brain and nervous system. Without stimulation, certain nerves will begin to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can result in an even more accelerated mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even more challenging).

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

Losing The Ability to be Independent

Needing a bit more help, as you age, is not abnormal. Perhaps you get a family member to go to the store for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are likely speeding up your loss of independence if you’re not using your hearing aids.

You can miss phone calls or fail to hear 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 at night for food or your dog barking at someone ringing your doorbell.

Is There Any Solution?

No matter how technologically advanced hearing aids get, they won’t resolve all of life’s issues. But they will solve a lot of the issues connected with not wearing your hearing aids.

You need to come see us for help if you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they are not comfortable.

But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from using 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 wear your hearing aids.

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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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