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

You’re supposed to use your hearing aids every day. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk jugs 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 occasionally. Maybe you even go a day, or a week, or possibly a few weeks (a month?) without using your hearing aids.

That’s not good. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids several things happen and some things already happening get worse. And, honestly, the majority of them are kind of negative.

Consequences of Neglecting to Wear Your Hearing Aids

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

Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish

Hearing aids are impressive devices. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running smoothly (that’s the region of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).

You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you begin turning 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 (so you’ll need even more powerful hearing aids in the near future).

It Will Become More Challenging to Interact Socially

You know when you go to the store and you get into a short discussion with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. In a world of technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.

When you don’t use your hearing aids, these simple social connections can quickly become much more difficult. You regularly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat themselves. Again and again. And after that, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. That might not sound serious but every time a situation like this takes place, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And that can result in even bigger problems.

Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline

Your brain doesn’t get close to 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. Without that exercise, certain mental processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:

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

But that’s not the entire picture. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain parts of your brain and nervous system. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to deteriorate from lack of stimulation. This can result in an even more rapid cognitive decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even harder).

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

Losing The Ability to be Independent

It’s not unusual, as you get older, to need a little more help. Perhaps you get a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. You are probably to accelerate your loss of independence if you’re not wearing your hearing aids.

When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can quickly become harder to answer the phone or talk with your neighbor. 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 someone knocking on your door.

Is There Any Solution?

Wearing a hearing aid won’t solve all of life’s problems, no matter how technologically innovative those little devices become. But many of the issues associated with failing to wear your hearing aid can be resolved.

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

It’s worth taking some time to consider what the consequences will be if you avoid using your hearing aids and also what the benefits of using them might be.

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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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