Will your hearing get worse if you don’t use your hearing aid?

Will your hearing get worse if you don’t use your hearing aid?

This is one of the most common questions we receive here at Paarl Hearing, and for good reason too. Many people want and need to know about what happens when they don’t wear their hearing aids in situations where they should be, such as in noisy environments where a hearing aid would help reduce the noise picked up by their ears.

Answering the question of ‘what happens when you don’t use your hearing aid’ isn’t as simple as it may seem. There are a few factors to consider, and the final answer is somewhat multi-fold – let’s find out.

Why are hearing aids important?

Before we answer this question, you first need to understand that people use hearing aids for different reasons. The most common of reasons is to amplify certain sounds to improve an individual’s hearing, while others also use aids to prevent their ears from succumbing to the damage caused by loud noises.

Our sense of hearing (or more specifically our inner ears) is responsible for allowing us to maintain good physical balance – that is, being able to maintain our statures without falling or slipping over. For people who experience hearing loss, hearing aids can assist with maintaining good balance.

This is only a nutshell version of why hearing aids can mean the difference between coping with hearing loss and allowing it to drive you to mental instability. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, click here.

I’m not using my hearing what – what’s going to happen to me?

Now that we have an idea of why hearing aids are important for people living with hearing impediments, let’s find out what happens when you don’t wear your hearing aids:

Loss of comprehension

The most common effect of not wearing your aids is a loss in your comprehension of different sounds. Hearing loss means you’re unable to hear certain sounds; hearing aids help relieve this loss in hearing by providing your inner ear with the stimulation needed to hear sounds you’d otherwise miss.

Not wearing your hearing aids will cause you to regress in terms of your hearing ability. You won’t be able to hear or recognise certain sounds and speech, making your life that much harder to live.

Greater exposure to damage

Some types of hearing aids are designed to help prevent further damage to your ear. Taking them off when you’re engaging in a noisy activity, or when you’re in a noisy area, can lead to further damage of the ear, even if you’re unable to hear the high intensity of the loud noises. To learn more about this, click here.

Loss of balance

As we mentioned earlier, our inner ears act as mini gyroscopes for our body, allowing us to maintain good balance. Damage to the inner ear (which may or may not be a result of hearing loss) can wreak havoc on your body’s balancing mechanisms.

Hearing aids, in their very nature, are mostly designed to help protect the inner ear from further damage, therefore helping in protecting your body’s balancing mechanisms. To learn more about this topic, click here. Simply put, not wearing your hearing aids can lead to unexpected falls, slips, and dizziness.

The bottom line?

Your hearing aids are important for your own health and sanity because of their role in improving your hearing and protecting your ears. Without them, you’re vulnerable to several things that will make your life harder to live, including worsened hearing loss and further damage to the inner ear – consequences that can lead to depression, less productivity, cognitive decline, and a host of other domino-like effects.

To learn more about your hearing aids and how you should use them (in the rare and unlikely case that you may have forgotten your physician’s instructions), contact your nearest Audiologist or hearing specialist (preferably the one who fitted your hearing aids) , or get in touch with us for general assistance – we’re always ready to help!

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