So, it’s not very often that you wear your hearing aids? Most of the time you leave them in the drawer unless you are, for instance, going to the theater or to a party. Is it really necessary to wear them more often than that?
The concern is that when you don’t wear your hearing aids on a regular basis, you’re developing some troubling disadvantages for yourself over the long term. Your hearing may get drastically worse. Cognitive decline and social isolation could be the result. Your general health could be compromised. So, if you aren’t wearing your hearing aids, you should certainly pay attention to this.
Why Aren’t Your Hearing Aids in Your Ears?
You probably have a good reason for keeping your hearing aids in a somewhere in a drawer. You might have decided to keep those reasons to yourself. Maybe, when your family asks, you even say something generic and elusive, such as, “I just don’t like them”.
Stilted dialogue to the side, we know that’s not the complete story, right? If you go a little deeper, you’ll probably find that there’s a specific grievance at the heart of your irregular hearing aid use. Specific issues are positive because they create the possibility to find an equally specific solution.
Some of the most common grievances consist of the following;
“My Hearing Aids Feel Uncomfortable”
One of the most typically mentioned reasons that individuals discontinue using their hearing aids normally is discomfort. Maybe the hearing aid won’t stop falling out of your ear. Or maybe your over-the-ear model chafes in just the wrong spot, causing tenderness and pain.
Hearing aids aren’t supposed to be uncomfortable, so something is most definitely wrong if they are creating any kind of irritation. And it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to use a piece of technology that creates pain, frustration or soreness.
Possible solution: If you’re uncomfortable with your hearing aids, a follow-up fitting appointment is something you should think about. A few slight tweaks could be all your hearing aid requires. Some models can even be entirely customized to the shape and size of your ears. The more comfortable your hearing aid fits, the more likely you are to leave the device in place for long periods of time.
I’m Experiencing Poor Quality Sound From my Hearing Aids
Perhaps you don’t use your hearing aids regularly because you find the sound to be fuzzy or tinny. If that’s the case, it’s not shocking that you’ve opted to store your hearing aids in a drawer somewhere and save them for “special occasions”.”
This tinny or fuzzy sound can happen because hearing aids are performing complex auditory processes at all times, amplifying some sounds while filtering out others. So the sound quality might seem hard to rely on if your settings aren’t properly adjusted.
Solution: There are two potential solutions to this difficulty: calibration and upkeep. It could be that your hearing aids are damaged in some way or another and have to be repaired. But it might be possible that they just need a simple calibration (generally this is something your audiologist can take care of for you).
Voices Are Muffled With my Hearing Aids
You need to hear voices with clarity. When you first got hearing aids that was the whole reason! You didn’t want to miss out on a single word. So it could be a little bit discouraging if all the voices you hear with you’re hearing aid are muffled or hard to understand.
This usually happens when you first use your hearing aids because your ears and brain aren’t necessarily used to communicating all that well anymore (it’s like they had a disagreement or something).
Solution: Practice. Your brain is going to have to get used to hearing language again, so putting yourself in situations where you can hear people conversing regularly will be helpful. Try reading along to an audiobook or reading along with the closed captioning while watching tv. Another way to get some positive practice is by simply having conversations with people around you.
The point is that no matter what your justification for not using your hearing aids maybe, there is an answer somewhere. And it is essential, both for the health of your hearing and for your cognitive well-being, that you wear your hearing aids routinely.
So if you’re not using your hearing aids? After identifying the issue, find a solution, so you can get active in your life again. If you suspect your hearing aids need adjustment, contact your hearing care professional now.