Hearing loss can be a difficult diagnosis for some people. They may feel upset or ashamed that they are unable to hear without an assistance device. As a result, we see the consequences of not wearing hearing aids that our patients deal with in an attempt to avoid impairment. This decision can have far-reaching effects on different parts of your life beyond just your listening capabilities.
Can Not Wearing Hearing Aids Make Your Hearing Worse?
Once you have experienced auditory loss, it will gradually decline with or without hearing aids. Your hearing nerve acts like a muscle that needs to be stretched. If you don’t work it out by exposing it to sounds, the strength will decrease over time and your ability to hear will lessen.
While not wearing your hearing aids can’t make your hearing worse, it can impact your well-being. Hearing loss is often tied to feelings of isolation because people who live with this impairment are not engaged in what’s going on around them. This leads to an increased risk of cognitive decline, slips and falls, memory problems, and depression. The longer you wait to get hearing devices, the less stimulated your brain will be by sound, and they may not work well.
Impacting Your Quality of Life
As we age, our quality of life becomes more apparent to us. Abilities we once had, like our auditory range, begin to waver. Wearing your hearing aids can help reverse negative side effects that hearing loss can cause including isolation, memory problems, and mental health issues. Wearing these devices can also help to improve and maintain your relationships. You will be able to be engaged in conversations again, hear the peaceful sounds of nature, and experience noises that help you feel more connected to the world around you.
Why Do People Not Wear Their Hearing Aids?
Whether people do not want to get their ears checked, or they have been prescribed hearing aids that go unused, some avoid wearing these devices. Folks often have preconceived notions about these apparatuses and are reluctant to use them. Some reasons for this include:
- They think they are difficult to use.
- They believe they are large, noticeable, and uncomfortable to wear.
- Fears around inserting or losing them in their ear.
- There is an initial adjustment period to get your hearing aids working at their best, and this leads people to believe that they won’t work properly.
The reality is that some people may also have a lack of awareness that they need hearing devices because they are unwilling to take a hearing test. Others may have older devices that have been well-worn and never cleaned, so they don’t work as they should. If you have concerns about your auditory health, the best thing you can do is talk to an audiologist.
When to Not Wear Hearing Aids
Most audiologists will recommend patients keep their hearing aids in at all times. But, there are some instances when taking these devices out is necessary. You should remove them when you are:
- Sleeping. Especially if you are a side sleeper, you don’t want to put pressure on these apparatuses when they are in your ear. In addition, you could hear sounds that disturb your sleep.
- Coming into contact with water. This can include showering, bathing and swimming, but also when you go to the hair salon or barber.
- Feeling stressed about sounds. Relearning to ignore background noise or listening to several sounds at once can feel overwhelming, especially when you first get hearing aids. Give yourself some grace if they need to be taken out.
Once it is safe to put these devices back in, ensure that you do so. It can be difficult for the brain to adjust to detecting sounds at two different volumes, possibly lessening the effects of your hearing devices over time. The more your brain can adjust to listening to things at one particular frequency, the better.
Choosing the Right Hearing Aids
Thanks to several innovations, there are many different styles and options available to you when shopping for hearing aids. These devices are unique to you, rather than a one-size-fits-all solution. Size, appearance, lifestyle, and additional features are all taken into account when it comes to deciding which brand or type of device is right for your ears.
At Robillard Hearing Centres, we understand the struggles some people face when coming to terms with being prescribed hearing devices. We also hope to reduce the stigma around this condition. Auditory technology is constantly innovating and looking toward the future to allow for more seamless applications and ways to ensure that those with hearing loss don’t have to deal with the consequences of not wearing hearing aids. If you are looking to speak with an audiologist about your ability to perceive sound, reach out to us.
Are online hearing tests accurate?
Yes, online hearing tests are a great way to determine if you are suffering from hearing loss. For optimal results, ensure you are in a quiet area without interruptions and begin Robillard Hearing Centre’s free online hearing test. We also recommend that you consult with an audiologist about your hearing health after you’ve taken the test.
Can I test my hearing at home?
You most certainly can. In fact, our free online hearing test makes it convenient to check your hearing capabilities anywhere you choose. To start the test, press the blue play button and follow the instructions.
What are the warning signs of hearing loss?
Several factors can contribute to this impairment. You might notice that noise from the TV or radio sounds muffled, so you’re turning up the volume constantly. When speaking with another person, you could have trouble understanding them. You may then find yourself asking people to speak up or repeat themselves.
At what age do you start losing your hearing?
This age is different for everyone depending on their lifestyle. Usually, adults begin experiencing some hearing damage in their 40s, and that increases steadily as they approach retirement age. Some factors can speed up this process, such as head trauma and certain medical conditions.
Does hearing loss feel like clogged ears?
This symptom can be a side effect of hearing loss. Ringing may also be a common sound heard by an individual experiencing hearing damage. If the middle part of the ear has been injured, sounds can’t travel normally into the inner ear, giving you the sensation of clogged ears.