When You Don’t Use Your Hearing Aids

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You’re supposed to use your hearing aids every day. But you’re also supposed to rinse out your milk containers before recycling them. We don’t always do what we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of their storage container once in a while. Perhaps you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without wearing your hearing aids.

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

Consequences of Forgetting to Use 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 a few of those effects and repercussions.

Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish

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

If you “forget” to use your hearing aids and, instead, turn up your TV 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 issues with your brain. (It actually shrinks.) So you’ll most likely wind 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 conversation with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. In a world dominated by technology, these little chats are a touch of humanity.

When you don’t wear your hearing aids, these simple social connections can suddenly be much more challenging. You regularly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat what they said. Over and over. And after that, the conversation just quickly falls apart. That might not sound significant but each time a scenario like this occurs, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And the result can be even more serious.

Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids

Your brain doesn’t get nearly as much exercise when you isolate 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:

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

But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally important 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 rapid cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adapting to your hearing aids even more challenging).

Hearing aids keep your brain active, stimulated, and happy (more or less).

Loss of Independence

Needing a bit more help, as you age, is not abnormal. Maybe 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 expediting the loss of independence that frequently accompanies aging.

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

What’s The Solution?

Using a hearing aid is not going to solve all of life’s issues, no matter how technologically innovative those little devices get. But many of the issues connected to failing to use your hearing aid can be solved.

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

It’s worth taking a little time to think about what the repercussions will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the advantages of using them may be.



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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