Choosing Not To Wear Your Hearing Aids Can Cause Problems

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Hearing aids are meant to be worn daily. But you’re also supposed to rinse out your milk containers before you recycle them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. The same goes for hearing aids. Occasionally we forget to bring them with us. You may even forget to use it for more than a day.

That’s not great. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids several things happen and some things already developing get worse. And the majority of them, honestly, aren’t good.

Consequences of Forgetting to Use Your Hearing Aids

Much of what occurs when you fail to use your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. The effects and consequences of neglecting to use your hearing aids could include the following.

Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing

Hearing aids are remarkable gadgets. They increase your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the region of the brain that interprets sound) functioning efficiently.

You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you start cranking up the volume on your devices even higher than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes in check, problems with your brain can result from the lack of sensory input. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t use your hearing aids, your hearing will most likely keep getting worse (which means you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids in the near future).

Social Interactions Will Become More Challenging (And Less Frequent)

You know those short interactions you have with the cashier as you’re cashing out at the supermarket? Those conversations are nice. In a world dominated by technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.

When you don’t use your hearing aids, these simple social connections can suddenly be much more challenging. You repeatedly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat themselves. Again and again. And that’s when the conversation becomes really awkward. That may not sound serious but each time a situation like this occurs, you will tend to retreat socially more and more. And that can cause even bigger problems.

Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline

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

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

But there’s more. Because there are certain parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex starts to atrophy. This can make it more difficult to adjust to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the mental decline.

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

Losing The Ability to be Independent

Needing a little more help, as you age, is not abnormal. Perhaps you hire a neighbor to mow your lawn or ask your daughter to swing by with supplies more often. If you aren’t wearing your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that frequently comes with aging.

When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can rapidly become harder to answer the phone or talk with your neighbor. It’s possible that you will miss important alerts. Maybe you fail to hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing in the morning when he needs food.

What’s The Solution?

No matter how technologically advanced hearing aids become, they won’t solve all of life’s issues. But they will solve a lot of the problems associated with not using your hearing aids.

If you’re having trouble with your hearing aids or if they’re not comfortable, that’s one thing (and you should talk to us about getting solutions to those specific issues).

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 some time to reflect on what might be gained by wearing them… and what could 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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