Does Your Hearing Get Worse if You Don’t Wear Your Hearing Aids?

February 4, 2020 4:33 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Many people in California wear hearing aids. Some wear one hearing aid, while others need one for each ear. Others might not need to wear their hearing devices all the time. Interestingly enough, there’s one common question that both longtime hearing aid users and new wearers ask their doctors: Will my hearing get worse if I don’t wear my hearing aids as prescribed? Let’s find out what the professionals have to say.

The short answer

Technically, no—wearing your hearing aids part-time instead of all the time won’t make your hearing worse. But that’s not to say it won’t make hearing more challenging. If you have hearing loss and are prescribed hearing aid devices but don’t wear them, your ability to hear soft sounds will not get worse simply because you choose not to wear them. The reality is that you will go through a gradual progression of hearing loss whether you are wearing hearing aids or not.

Before moving on, it’s necessary to point out the correlation between hearing and speech. If you’re living with hearing loss and neglect to wear your hearing aids, there’s a good chance your ability to decipher speech will get worse faster than if you wore hearing aids as directed by your doctor.

What’s going on in there

“Use it or lose it” is a phrase you’ve likely heard before, and believe it or not, it applies to hearing aid wearers. No matter the degree of hearing loss, when you don’t wear your hearing aids, you will miss out on certain sounds that are meant to be heard. Your brain receives its auditory stimulation through hearing, so the less you hear, the less stimulation the hearing nerve and brain will get. The result is similar to social isolation in that both affect the brain negatively.

The nerves in your body require regular active stimulation. Take away that stimulation and the nerve stops working as well. The longer nerves exist with little to no stimulation, the less actively your brain is able to process sound. The auditory cortex is the part of the brain that processes sound, and it’s similar to other systems and parts of your body in that it needs exercise to stay healthy.

The importance of wearing your hearing aids

Once the nerve in charge of converting sound for the brain is damaged, there is no way to reverse it. As a result, wearing hearing aids is usually the best way to improve your ability to hear. These devices ensure that your hearing nerves and brain are getting the right amount of stimulation to keep functioning.

Not wearing your hearing aids will not make your hearing worse, but the longer you go without wearing them, the less stimulation your brain is exposed to and the worse your speech discrimination will become.

If you are in need of a hearing consultation, hearing device repair or new hearing aids in California, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Valley Hearing Center. Come see us today, or call ahead to schedule an appointment.

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