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Eastside Audiology - Issaquah, WA Eastside Audiology - Issaquah, WA

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

Hearing aids are meant to be worn 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 might even forget to use it for more than one day.

That’s not great. Because there are several things that happen (or continue to happen) when you don’t wear your hearing aids. And the majority of them, honestly, aren’t good.

Consequences of Neglecting to Wear Your Hearing Aids

Much of what happens when you fail to use your hearing aids will impact both your hearing health and your social life, each with varying levels of severity and intensity. The effects and repercussions of neglecting to wear your hearing aids could include the following.

Your Hearing Will Keep Diminishing

The technology of hearing aids is fairly impressive. Not only do they let you hear sounds that you normally wouldn’t have, but they also keep your auditory complex running smoothly (that’s the part of your brain responsible for interpreting sounds).

You could damage your hearing even more if, instead of wearing your hearing aids, you begin turning the volume up on your devices even louder than they already are. Even if you’re keeping the volumes under control, issues with your brain can result from the lack of sensory stimuli. (It actually shrinks.) So if you don’t wear 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 Difficult to Engage Socially

You know those short interactions you have with the cashier as you’re checking out at the grocery store? They’re enjoyable, we think. In a world of technology, these little talks are a touch of humanity.

These normal social connections suddenly become really hard when you don’t use your hearing aids. You regularly miss parts of the conversation and need to ask people to repeat what they said. Over and over. And once that happens, the conversation just quickly becomes strained. Perhaps that sounds superficial, but every bit you retreat into yourself makes it that much easier for you to entirely isolate yourself socially. And the consequences can be even more significant.

Cognitive Decline And Hearing Aids

When you isolate yourself socially, your brain gets much less exercise. 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:

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

But that’s not the entire picture. Because there are particular parts of your brain and nervous system that thrive on hearing sounds. Without stimulation, certain nerves will start to weaken, and your auditory complex begins to atrophy. This can cause an even more rapid mental decline (or, even in the best-case scenario, make adjusting to your hearing aids even more challenging).

Your brain stays happy, stimulated, and engaged when you wear hearing aids.

Losing The Ability to be Independent

Needing a little more help, as you age, is not abnormal. Maybe you get a family member to go shopping for you or a neighbor to do some yard work. If you aren’t using your hearing aid, you could be expediting the loss of independence that frequently comes with aging.

You can miss phone calls or lose parts of conversations with your neighbor when you don’t use your hearing aids. You could miss important weather alerts. Maybe you don’t hear your cat meowing for food at night or your dog barking at somebody ringing your doorbell.

Is There Any Solution?

No matter how technologically advanced hearing aids get, they won’t resolve all of life’s issues. But many of the issues linked to failing to use 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 talk to us about finding solutions to those particular issues).

It’s worth taking some time to think about what the consequences will be if you avoid wearing your hearing aids and also what the benefits of using them may 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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