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

Hearing aids are supposed to be used daily. But before you recycle your milk containers, you’re supposed to wash them out too. 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. Perhaps 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 there are several things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t use your hearing aids. And the majority of them, to be honest, aren’t good.

Effects And Repercussions of Not Using Your Hearing Aids

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

Your Level of Hearing Loss Will Get Worse

The technology of hearing aids is rather remarkable. They increase your ability to hear and help keep your auditory complex (the part of the brain that interprets sound) working efficiently.

If you “forget” to wear your hearing aids and, instead, crank up your TV to an even louder volume, you might be doing additional damage to your hearing. 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 probably wind up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to wear your current pair because your hearing will continue to get worse.

It Will Become More Challenging to Interact Socially

You know when you go to the store and you get into a short conversation with the cashier? Those conversations are pleasant. A nice little bit of humanity in a technological world.

When you don’t use your hearing aids, these simple social interactions can suddenly be a lot more challenging. You regularly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat themselves. Over and over. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. That might not sound serious but each time a situation like this happens, you will tend to withdraw socially more and more. And that can lead to even bigger issues.

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 invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, certain cognitive processes can begin to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:

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

But that’s not the entire picture. Because hearing sound is vitally important to certain regions of your nervous system and brain. Your auditory complex starts to atrophy when certain nerves begin to weaken from lack of stimulation. This can make it harder to adapt to your new hearing aids and in the worst case speed up mental decline.

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

Loss of Independence

It’s not unusual, as you age, to need a bit more help. Maybe you get a family member to go to the store 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.

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. Maybe you don’t hear your cat meowing for food at night or your dog barking at somebody ringing your doorbell.

What’s The Solution?

No matter how technologically advanced hearing aids become, they won’t resolve all of life’s issues. But many of the problems linked to failing to wear your hearing aid can be solved.

You should come see us for assistance if you’re having problems with your hearing aids or if they’re uncomfortable.

But if you’re looking for reasons to avoid wearing 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 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.