Choosing Not To Use Your Hearing Aids Can Lead to Problems

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

Hearing aids are meant to be used daily. But you’re also supposed to wash out your milk containers before recycling them. Sometimes, we don’t do the things we’re supposed to. The same goes for hearing aids. Occasionally we forget to bring them with us. You may even forget to wear it for more than one day.

That isn’t a really good idea. Because when you don’t wear your hearing aids several things occur and some things already developing get worse. And, to be honest, most of them are kind of bad.

Effects And Repercussions of Not Using Your Hearing Aids

There will be consequences of varying levels of intensity and severity, both to your health and social life, if you don’t use your hearing aid. Here are some of those effects and consequences.

Your Level of Hearing Impairment Will Worsen

Hearing aids are remarkable devices. Not only do they allow you to hear sounds that you otherwise wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running efficiently (that’s the part of your brain responsible for the interpretation of sounds).

You might damage your hearing even more if, instead of using your hearing aids, you begin 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 you will most likely end up needing more powerful hearing aids in the future if you fail to use your current pair because your hearing will continue to get worse.

Social Interactions Will Become More Challenging (And Less Consistent)

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

These everyday social connections suddenly become very hard when you don’t wear your hearing aids. You regularly miss parts of the conversation and have to ask people to repeat what they said. Over and over. And that’s when the conversation becomes really uncomfortable. That may not sound significant but each time a scenario like this takes place, you will tend to disengage socially more and more. And the outcome can be even more significant.

Mental Decline And Hearing Aids

When you separate yourself socially, your brain gets a lot less exercise. After you have a nice conversation with your family, think about how invigorated (or exhausted) you can feel. Without that exercise, particular mental processes can start to decline (or decline faster). This could mean:

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

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

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

Loss of Independence

It’s not unusual, as you get older, to need a bit 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 wearing your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that often accompanies aging.

When you don’t wear your hearing aids, it can quickly become harder to answer the phone or have a conversation with your neighbor. You might miss important weather 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?

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

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 avoid wearing your hearing aids, if you’re just forgetting them in the nightstand drawer, it’s worth taking a little time to think about 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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    Dr. Laura Padham, Audiologist

    Ocean Gate, NJ

    143 W Barnegat Avenue
    Ocean Gate, NJ 08740

    Mobile Services in:Pine Beach, Seaside Heights, Bayville, Beachwood, Lanoka Harbor, Island Heights, Lavallette, Seaside Park, Normandy Beach, Forked River, Toms River, Mantoloking, Lakewood, Waretown, Brick, Barnegat Light, Brielle

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