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

Hearing aids are supposed to be used daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk containers before you recycle them. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. So yeah, you forget to take your hearing aids out of the nightstand drawer now and then. You might even forget to wear it for more than one day.

That isn’t a very smart idea. Because when you don’t use your hearing aids a number of things happen and some things already developing get worse. And the majority of them, to be honest, aren’t good.

Effects And Consequences of Going Without Hearing Aids

Much of what occurs when you don’t use your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying degrees of severity and intensity. The effects and consequences of neglecting to use your hearing aids could include the following.

Your Hearing Will Continue to Diminish

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

You may 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 stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So you will probably end 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 Engagement Will Become More Stressful (And Less Consistent)

You know when you go to the store and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? They’re enjoyable, we think. In a world dominated by technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.

These normal social connections suddenly become very difficult when you don’t use your hearing aids. You repeatedly 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. Perhaps that sounds superficial, but every bit you withdraw into yourself makes it that much easier to completely isolate yourself socially. And that can cause even bigger issues.

Hearing Aids And Cognitive Decline

When you seclude yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. After you have a nice 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
  • Memory problems
  • Declines in productivity or energy

But there’s more. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain parts of your nervous system and brain. Your auditory complex begins to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulus. This can make it more difficult to adjust to your new hearing aids and in the worst case accelerate the cognitive decline.

Hearing aids keep your brain engaged, stimulated, and happy (for the most part).

Loss of Independence

It’s not uncommon, as you age, to require a little more help. Maybe you ask a family member to go to the store for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be speeding up the loss of independence that often accompanies aging.

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. Perhaps you don’t hear your dog barking when there’s someone at the door or your cat meowing at 6 am when he needs food.

Is There Any Solution?

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

If you’re having issues with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable, that’s one thing (and you should consult us about finding solutions to those specific issues).

But if you’re looking for reasons to refrain from using your hearing aids, if you’re just leaving them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking some time to consider what may be gained by wearing 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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